Blog Business Entertainment Environment Health Latest News News Analysis Opinion Science Sports Technology World
How CPEC is Significant for Pakistan-Explaining Opportunities and Challenges

China Pakistan Economic Corridor is considered a flagship project of BRI (One Belt One Road Initiative). The project comprises 3,218 kilometers, a US$62 billion worth corridor. It is a network of railways, roads, and pipelines to transport gas and oil from Gwadar port in the south of Pakistan to Kashgar city in north-western China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. CPEC, due to its high economic and geopolitical importance, not only helps to develop the less industrial region of west China but also becomes a game-changer for Pakistan's way to modernization.

This project connects the South-Asian regions through the economic corridor and significantly impacts regional connectivity. Pakistan particularly benefits from this project because it has a unique geography and is a strategically crucial region in South Asia and the world as well. The Project CPEC has excellent geostrategic importance like many regions, i.e., Central Asia, Gulf States, and Eastern Africa, which will enhance the trade and commercial ties through Gwadar port.

CPEC starts from Kashgar City in China and ends at Gwadar port in Baluchistan, Pakistan. Many countries will connect with China through the Gwadar seaport, boosting the Pak-China bilateral relationship. It is a ray of hope for Pakistan, and it will improve the economic sector and overcome energy shortfalls. In addition, CPEC will bring development in the financial sector and improve Pakistan's socioeconomic situation.

The total length of project CPEC is 3,218, comprising pipelines, railways, and highways. US $45 is the operational cost of the project, and the rest of the price will be used for infrastructural development, power generation, and communication. The expected cost would be US $75.

Revival of the “Silk Route”

The Silk Route” was termed by Ferdinand Von Richthofen, a German Geographer, in 1877. It means that the silk” was a trade product, and it has a specified Route” as well; thats why it is termed the Silk Route.” This route was spread across Asia and Europe and also towards Africa. It also linked the Mediterranean with Asia. The countries included in the Silk Route” were Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, and China. So, this route was considered a base for the establishment and nourishment of different cultures and civilizations of Europe, Persia, China, the Indian Subcontinent, and Arabia.

In this globalized world, regional integration is very essential, and countries are integrating economically, so the revival of the Silk Route,” that is, One Belt, One Road,” is to integrate the region by reformulating Silk Road.

Belt and Road Initiative

CPEC is a flagship project of BRI which includes the economic belt, Silk Road, and South-East Asian Silk Road. So, Pakistan is linking these routes due to its geostrategic potential. Many observers believe that CPEC, which is a land route from Kashghar and it stretches to the Arabian Sea, will ease the Malacca dilemma because the total amount of trade of China is 85% which includes most of the oil imports of China.

The proposal of BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) was presented by China’s President Xi Jinping in November 2015 and decided to construct BRI in three phases to revive the Silk Route with a new look. China considered this project the progress of “Mutual Destiny.”

Significance of Belt and Road Initiative

China will get access to the Indian and the Pacific Oceans through the port of Gwadar and the distance will also reduce by connecting Xinxiang with Gwadar port. The economy of China will be connected with West Asia, Europe, East Asia, and Central Asia. In addition to linking China with Asia Pacific Economic Zone (APEZ) and European Economic Zone (EEZ) —both are considered very important economic zones. China’s “Open up Strategy” will define its geopolitics and its relations with the state as well. In this strategy, many countries will be part of this project which share their common interest and destiny

Significance of CPEC and its Impact on Pakistan

Economic lift

CPEC will boost the economy of Pakistan. There would be development in the economic sector, the industries would revive, and the population would benefit. In this Project, many foreign investors will come and create jobs for the population.

In Pakistan, there is a large number of skilled unemployed people, and there is a limited amount of jobs. In the second phase of CPEC, many economic zones are made in Pakistan, and in all economic zones, there will be some industries will be made. In those industries, many sub-industries will be established, like the paper industry, glass industry, food process industry, chemical industry, ceramic industry, and many industries as well.

Due to Pakistan's war on terror and security issues, Foreign Direct Investment has become low. So, after establishing these industries, foreign direct investments will be in the country, and it will benefit the network of CPEC and particularly many regions in Pakistan. 

 All these economic zones and Foreign Direct Investment will increase the foreign exchange reserves of Pakistan, which have been in depletion for several years. CPEC will improve the socio-economic condition of many regions in Pakistan, especially KPK and Baluchistan.

 Social Impacts

As you know, Pakistan has been in an energy crisis for several years, affecting the social sectors. However, through CPEC, different energy projects have been established, like many power projects that would overcome Pakistan's energy crisis.

In the region of Pakistan, the places are far away from each other, and connectivity in the area is needed. So, to ensure connectivity, two types of projects are constructed; one is the road which includes the motorways, and another is the Railway lines.

Pakistan still needs to develop in technology, so CPEC has improved its technological expansion by initiating 4G and 5G. As a result, Pakistan will progress in mechanical technology and Information technology through the CPEC.

The balanced environment in South Asia

Pakistan and India are considered major actors in the region and both countries possess nuclear weapons. Both countries are rivals and India considered herself the hegemonic power in the South Asian region. The US has great support for India as well. CPEC is a great opportunity for Pakistan to balance out India in the region. CPEC will also minimize the western influence in the region and Pakistan will also be able to make stable relations with Iran and Afghanistan and normal ties with India as well.

Impacts on Defense

Through CPEC Pakistan will get military and economic assistance which would help improve its nuclear, economic, and military capabilities and also be useful to counter India. The presence of China’s navy in Gwadar will improve Pakistan’s defense in the coastal area. So, India’s naval activities around Aden and the Persian Gulf would be checked by Pakistan and China’s navy.

CPEC and Regional Connectivity

There are many opportunities for economic growth in South Asia which assist regional connectivity and there are many organizations like ECO, SAARC, and SCO which give importance to the South Asian regions. There are ties between India and Pakistan but still, there is cooperation between these two countries. The South Asian region can be connected through many corridors, especially through trade routes.

China has started its project on BRI and CPEC is part of it which is connecting the belt with the road. We know that China is investing in CPEC, like it, they are also invested in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal. So, South Asian countries are integrating through CPEC. As China is increasing its influence in South Asia, India also has invested in Afghanistan and Nepal. Pakistan is also connecting its trade with Central Asia through Tajikistan.

SAARC is considered an organization that can connect the region but due to the ties between India and Pakistan, it is not working properly. SAARC has presented some agreements, but some agreements are not signed due to India. If the South Asian countries work on SAARC, it would enhance regional cooperation and integration.

We have seen that due to rigid relations with Pakistan and India, regional integration is not growing. India is also concerned about the route of CPEC because it is passing from GB and its disputed region under UN Resolutions. According to India, GB is part of India and the initiation of CPEC is a violation of the sovereignty and integrity of India but in reality, it is a disputed region. Pakistan considers CPEC in its economic context, but India is raising political questions about it.

India and Pakistan both wanted to extend their connectivity to Central Asia through Afghanistan. Pakistan is not giving access to India to go to Afghanistan like India is not giving access to Pakistan to go into Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan. China has also been working on its extension of CPEC in Afghanistan and Iran and it would enhance the cooperation between regional countries. If India would be part of this project, it will more enhance the regional connectivity of South Asia. SAARC would be considered a forum that could make avenues for regional cooperation.

Opportunities and Prospects of CPEC

Connection of Central Asian Republics with the region

Central Asian regions are known for their natural resources and the world’s 60% of natural resources are present in Central Asia. Many great powers like the USA, China, Russia, and European countries always kept their eye on Central Asia for the sake of resources. The regional players considered this region an important area and its significance is increasing day by day. As you know, this region is landlocked, and they haven’t access to the sea. CPEC project will make opportunities for these Central Asians. Through CPEC this region will get access to the sea and can easily export its goods and services through the CPEC network.

Middle East

The Middle East is considered an oil-rich region and it also exports its oil to the other parts of the region. CPEC will provide a possible opportunity for the Middle East region with other countries and if any conflict arises, Gwadar port can be used to further their transportation of goods and a way to make better relations with Northern and Southern parts of Asia.

Opportunities for the Shipping Industry

There would be more opportunities in the shipping industry through CPEC. As we already discussed that China would ensure the maritime security of Gwadar so many foreign countries can improve their economy by connecting with shipping. It will reduce freight costs and save foreign exchange and generate employment for many people.


There are many internal and external challenges for CPEC. There would be an internal challenge for Pakistan like the insurgents of Baluchistan and KPK nationalist groups. There would be an external challenge like the regional competitor trying to keep a check on Gwadar Seaport. On the opposite of Gwadar, the Gulf of Oman is present where Japan imports oils. India, Israel, and USA are also external challenges, and these countries will make their strong influence in the Indian Ocean and particularly in the Arabian sea.

Sub-nationalists in Baluchistan

Baluchistan is a mineral-rich region, but Pakistan has neglected this region for several years. Their resources are exploited by the federal government and their grievances are not addressed. These resulted in several insurgencies in the region. Many political parties in Baluchistan are skeptical about CPEC and as you know that the Separatist movement named BLA also killed many Chinese engineers in Gwadar at construction time. BLA also targeted Chinese in Dasu and Karachi.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and CPEC

Many political parties are concerned about the CPEC, and they have reservations about the CPEC project. According to them, the original Kashgar-Gwadar route is modified by the Central government and their purpose is to give more benefit to Punjab. As you know that the situation in FATA is unstable and there is a chance of destabilization of CPEC. Pakistan needs to address the grievances of the less developed KPK people.

Security Concerns

The main challenge for CPEC is security. As you know that many banned organizations are working in Pakistan which is a threat to the state and CPEC as well. The organization like Tehreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Daesh (ISIS), Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF), Balochistan Liberation Army
(BLA) and many other militancy groups are a threat to the CPEC. Pakistan needs to make a proper security mechanism for the CPEC.

Indian Factor

India considered herself a hegemonic power in the South-Asian region and the US is also backing India to counter Chinese influence in the region. Recently India signed the Basic Exchange Cooperation Agreement (BECA) with the US to further their influence in the region and the Indian ocean. India also has good relations with the UAE so both countries will try to counter Pakistan by imposing maximum pressure on the CPEC. As Pak-China relation is strengthening, there would be more cooperation between these two countries and China is also providing its security to CPEC.



CPEC will change the condition of Pakistan and Pakistan will prosper more in social, economic, and political sectors and the socio-economic condition of Pakistan will improve. CPEC is a game-changer for the region, and it has a great impact on South Asia and the countries are shifting from Geo-strategic to Geo-economics. As there are opportunities, there are challenges as well which would be internal or external. Some questions are still in the mind of people that Will CPEC a debt trap for Pakistan? or again the East-India company situation are coming? The Pakistani government, the state, and military authorities need to address these questions so that people would hope for a better future for Pakistan.

Picture Credit : South Asian Voices

Share This Post On

Tags: #China #Pakistan #CPEC #MutualDestiny #Geoeconomics


Leave a comment

You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in is a Global Media House Initiative by Socialnetic Infotainment Private Limited.

TheSocialTalks was founded in 2020 as an alternative to mainstream media which is fraught with misinformation, disinformation and propaganda. We have a strong dedication to publishing authentic news that abides by the principles and ethics of journalism. We are an organisation driven by a passion for truth and justice in society.

Our team of journalists and editors from all over the world work relentlessly to deliver real stories affecting our society. To keep our operations running, We need sponsors and subscribers to our news portal. Kindly sponsor or subscribe to make it possible for us to give free access to our portal and it will help writers and our cause. It will go a long way in running our operations and publishing real news and stories about issues affecting us.

Your contributions help us to expand our organisation, making our news accessible to more everyone and deepening our impact on the media.

Support fearless and fair journalism today.