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  1. #1
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    CPEC 2.0: full speed ahead

    A HOST of geopolitical developments may breathe new life into the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that was perceived to be running out of steam since the PTI government assumed power in 2018.

    Covid-19 has caused disruptions around the world this year, but CPEC-related activities appeared tepid even before the pandemic struck.

    CPEC-watchers see the launch of two hydel power projects in quick succession in Azad Kashmir and a special economic zone (SEZ) in Faisalabad this month as early signs of the rejuvenation of the multi-billion-dollar programme. To remove roadblocks and ensure timely progress, the government is also working on the CPEC Authority Bill 2020 that will further empower the dedicated authority created last year.

    Regional realignments and the changing dynamics in the Middle East, West and South Asia may work in Pakistan’s favour. The oil shock and greater realisation in the Arab world of a shared future seem to be drawing even the hostile nations closer. Iran under US sanctions has drifted closer to China vis-à-vis India for being undeterred by an aggressive US stance. The Afghan peace process is moving despite minor setbacks. The pandemic and border tension with China have compromised India’s capacity to irritate Pakistan. All these developments are said to be conducive for CPEC progress.

    Talking to Dawn earlier, PTI leaders dismissed the perception about Chinese reluctance, insisting that it is peddled by its political opponents and the forces hostile to Pakistan. Chinese diplomats in Pakistan repeated the official position of being committed to the Belt and Road Initiative of which CPEC is a key component.

    Independent experts found the assumption that the Chinese prefer a particular political party in Pakistan baseless.

    Despite official positioning, the visibility of Chinese nationals in Pakistan is not the same as it was in 2016–18. The circulation of Chinese officials, experts and staff was noticeable in government departments and ministries, hotels, airports, shopping malls, etc. Chinese sources admit that the inflow of visitors from China has declined, but they insist that about 13,000 Chinese working on CPEC projects are still in Pakistan. It is also true that the pace of Chinese investment did wane after the initial injection of about $40 billion in multiple power and infrastructure projects and Gwadar Port. China intended to invest $62bn in Pakistan over 15 years under CPEC that was launched in April 2015.

    “There might be some glitches here and there, but broadly the work on the first phase progressed smoothly. The exit of the PML-N or the entry of the PTI in Islamabad did not affect it. The first phase targeted to close the logistic and energy gaps in Pakistan that blunted development efforts. Many projects of the first phase have completed and the rest are in different stages of development.

    “The graduation to the second phase may not be swift, but the interaction between the two sides started in 2019. It spanned industrial, trade and social development sectors, involving a greater participation of the private sector and civil society organisations in both Pakistan and China. The second phase may be less capital-intensive, but it is definitely more complex. Besides, the IMF and FATF affairs did consume the PTI government’s attention in 2018-19 and the health emergency sapped its energy and resources in the first half of 2020. Still we were not off course on CPEC,” a top official associated with CPEC shared his views on the condition of anonymity.

    Independent experts admitted that China reacted to the demand of revisiting the agreed-upon deals by some PTI leaders. But they found the assumption of Chinese preference for a particular political party in Pakistan baseless. “Historically, China has been supportive of the country irrespective of the internal power dynamics,” commented one. Others attributed Chinese coldness after the initial euphoria to the challenges that China encountered in Pakistan while dealing with a fractured system. Some blamed the downward swing in the economy that took the sheen off the shiny multi-billion-dollar CPEC programme for Chinese annoyance.

    “Compared with the past, there is a notable decline in enthusiasm amongst nations for extraterritorial port projects. In particular, entering the second phase of the One Belt One Road, China has been served a rude dose of reality. Managing trade flows through an offshore port, they are realising it is not just a one-time engineering challenge. It involves constant political gymnastics with stakeholders from across the spectrum.

    “While India promoted Chabahar as a competitor to Gwadar, they built it with a narrow goal in mind: winning reconstruction projects in Afghanistan. Since President Trump rescinded the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the Iran nuclear deal and tightened sanctions, the Chabahar post has been a big question mark. Despite exception granted to India for using Iran as a conduit, no major contractor in Afghanistan, fearful of getting blacklisted by the United States, was willing to risk using Chabahar. Unless Iran is brought back into the economic mainstream, it is unlikely that the port will pick up steam again.

    “With Chabahar now officially on hold, Gwadar has emerged as the only viable supply point for Central Asia. CPEC future depends significantly on the success of various foreign-funded infrastructure projects in this landlocked region, and continued enthusiasm of leaders of Central Asian States for opening their economies to the world,” said Dr Ameem Lutfi, a post-doctoral research fellow at the Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore.

    “The evolving geopolitical situation is a plus for CPEC. The Afghan peace process, China’s entry into Iran and India’s exit from Chabahar will help secure our borders and strengthen CPEC.

    “Regarding suspicions over China’s enthusiasm for CPEC, the assumption is factually incorrect. In fact, there is renewed vigour in CPEC with two new hydel projects announced in Azad Kashmir. As for the Gwadar Port, it is a centrepiece of CPEC. Its development is transformative for Balochistan. The reservations of Baloch insurgents stem from suspicions, failed and flawed policies of the past and propaganda of hostile external forces,” commented Mushahid Hussain Syed, chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee.

    https://www.dawn.com/news/1571408/cp...ll-speed-ahead

  2. #2
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    The correct title is CPAEC.

    China Pakistan Army Economic Corridor.

  3. #3
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    Chinese Dream: Xi’s attempted coup against Pakistan

    China's Communist leader has managed the creation of a supra-constitutional CPEC Authority

    Name:  Pakistan-Gwadar-Port-2016-e1569899988389.jpg
Views: 375
Size:  131.8 KB


    Xi Jinping is all set to sideline the democratically elected representatives and civil servants of the people of Pakistan so as to expand his direct influence over the political and economic processes of the country.

    Since 2016, Xi, the general secretary of the Communist Party of China has been forcing the Pakistani establishment to put pressure on the government (it was Nawaz Sharif’s government back then) to sideline the Planning Ministry’s role in the implementation and monitoring of the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

    Xi pushed for the creation of a supra-constitutional CPEC Authority that would freelance the management of the predatory infrastructure and power-generation projects under his direct command.

    The proposal was rejected then, but last year it was again presented before the prime minister of the country – now Imran Khan. The reason given was timely completion of the projects.

    This time the prime minister is a full-fledged puppet of the military establishment, and therefore it was easier than before to manipulate the law to fulfill Xi’s desire to take over the Planning Ministry of Pakistan, and in future the country itself.

    I consider Pakistan’s Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives one of the most crucial state institutions, whose senior bureaucrats could implicitly scrutinize and resist Xi’s draconian CPEC scheme, as they had access to all of the secret documents on the agreement and were involved, directly and indirectly, in the decision-making process.

    So long as the reins were under the control of civilian institutions led by representatives of the people and civil servants, thorough accountability of Xi’s master plan at least at some level and at some point in time – if not at once – was possible. Sidelining the civil institutions altogether would allow Xi to play on both sides of the board.

    The agreement was so highly confidential that even the secretary of maritime affairs once refused to show it to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance. So one can imagine what an above-the-law sort of deal it must be.

    The CPEC Authority was established in October last year using a presidential ordinance (without parliament’s approval) for four months and then was given another four-month extension. But Xi wants permanent control. And now that the establishment has its puppet in the Prime Minister’s House, it is putting all of its efforts into making the Authority more powerful and a permanent part of the constitution by pushing it through parliament.

    Xi doesn’t want the Belt and Road Initiative or any of its components to be held accountable or face resistance. He knows that his Chinese Dream of indoctrination of a majority of free people of the world by 2050 will not be fulfilled if the people of the countries victimized by the BRI come to know about his strategy to destroy their futures and those of their future generations.

    The truth is that he is burdening those countries in debt traps while they are already suffering from intense balance-of-payments crises. Xi will slowly poison Pakistan and other poor economies by creating extreme shortages of foreign-exchange reserves. In the end, these countries will have to accept the invasion of their political and economic systems by the Communist Party of China.

    Four months ago, an inquiry into the workings of independent power producers (IPPs) took place in which two major coal-fired power-plant projects that were built under the CPEC – Huaneng Shandong Ruyi Energy and Port Qasim Electric Power Company – were found involved in corruption as they had misrepresented interest during construction to loot almost US$226 million from the dollar-strapped Pakistani economy.


    The supra-constitutional CPEC Authority will act as the CPC’s subsidiary in Pakistan and will be responsible for conceiving, implementing, expanding, enforcing, controlling, regulating, coordinating, monitoring, evaluating and carrying out all activities related to the CPEC.

    Furthermore, it will have the constitutional power to initiate an investigation and impose penalties against any public office holder (including the prime minister and president of Pakistan) or any other person who is directly or indirectly engaged in CPEC-related activities who willfully resist directions, instructions or specified orders of the CPEC Authority.


    Even the prime minister’s powers will be limited to what is specified in the CPEC Authority Bill 2020. So he too will have to obey Xi’s commands.

    According to a news report (that soon after its publication was mysteriously taken down), the chairman of the Authority – who, as noted above, is a retired lieutenant-general – will co-chair the Joint Cooperation Committee as the democratically elected planning minister will be removed from this position.

    https://asiatimes.com/2020/07/chines...inst-pakistan/

    ------------------

    With this development , CPEC will be implemented at a higher speed. It seems implementing it at a higher speed is coming at some cost, but decisionmakers have decided that cost is not high.


    "If this happens I will swim across the Charles River! In winter!" -- OZGOD on NZ batting 6 sessions

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffet View Post
    Chinese Dream: Xi’s attempted coup against Pakistan

    China's Communist leader has managed the creation of a supra-constitutional CPEC Authority

    Name:  Pakistan-Gwadar-Port-2016-e1569899988389.jpg
Views: 375
Size:  131.8 KB


    Xi Jinping is all set to sideline the democratically elected representatives and civil servants of the people of Pakistan so as to expand his direct influence over the political and economic processes of the country.

    Since 2016, Xi, the general secretary of the Communist Party of China has been forcing the Pakistani establishment to put pressure on the government (it was Nawaz Sharif’s government back then) to sideline the Planning Ministry’s role in the implementation and monitoring of the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

    Xi pushed for the creation of a supra-constitutional CPEC Authority that would freelance the management of the predatory infrastructure and power-generation projects under his direct command.

    The proposal was rejected then, but last year it was again presented before the prime minister of the country – now Imran Khan. The reason given was timely completion of the projects.

    This time the prime minister is a full-fledged puppet of the military establishment, and therefore it was easier than before to manipulate the law to fulfill Xi’s desire to take over the Planning Ministry of Pakistan, and in future the country itself.

    I consider Pakistan’s Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives one of the most crucial state institutions, whose senior bureaucrats could implicitly scrutinize and resist Xi’s draconian CPEC scheme, as they had access to all of the secret documents on the agreement and were involved, directly and indirectly, in the decision-making process.

    So long as the reins were under the control of civilian institutions led by representatives of the people and civil servants, thorough accountability of Xi’s master plan at least at some level and at some point in time – if not at once – was possible. Sidelining the civil institutions altogether would allow Xi to play on both sides of the board.

    The agreement was so highly confidential that even the secretary of maritime affairs once refused to show it to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance. So one can imagine what an above-the-law sort of deal it must be.

    The CPEC Authority was established in October last year using a presidential ordinance (without parliament’s approval) for four months and then was given another four-month extension. But Xi wants permanent control. And now that the establishment has its puppet in the Prime Minister’s House, it is putting all of its efforts into making the Authority more powerful and a permanent part of the constitution by pushing it through parliament.

    Xi doesn’t want the Belt and Road Initiative or any of its components to be held accountable or face resistance. He knows that his Chinese Dream of indoctrination of a majority of free people of the world by 2050 will not be fulfilled if the people of the countries victimized by the BRI come to know about his strategy to destroy their futures and those of their future generations.

    The truth is that he is burdening those countries in debt traps while they are already suffering from intense balance-of-payments crises. Xi will slowly poison Pakistan and other poor economies by creating extreme shortages of foreign-exchange reserves. In the end, these countries will have to accept the invasion of their political and economic systems by the Communist Party of China.

    Four months ago, an inquiry into the workings of independent power producers (IPPs) took place in which two major coal-fired power-plant projects that were built under the CPEC – Huaneng Shandong Ruyi Energy and Port Qasim Electric Power Company – were found involved in corruption as they had misrepresented interest during construction to loot almost US$226 million from the dollar-strapped Pakistani economy.


    The supra-constitutional CPEC Authority will act as the CPC’s subsidiary in Pakistan and will be responsible for conceiving, implementing, expanding, enforcing, controlling, regulating, coordinating, monitoring, evaluating and carrying out all activities related to the CPEC.

    Furthermore, it will have the constitutional power to initiate an investigation and impose penalties against any public office holder (including the prime minister and president of Pakistan) or any other person who is directly or indirectly engaged in CPEC-related activities who willfully resist directions, instructions or specified orders of the CPEC Authority.


    Even the prime minister’s powers will be limited to what is specified in the CPEC Authority Bill 2020. So he too will have to obey Xi’s commands.

    According to a news report (that soon after its publication was mysteriously taken down), the chairman of the Authority – who, as noted above, is a retired lieutenant-general – will co-chair the Joint Cooperation Committee as the democratically elected planning minister will be removed from this position.

    https://asiatimes.com/2020/07/chines...inst-pakistan/

    ------------------

    With this development , CPEC will be implemented at a higher speed. It seems implementing it at a higher speed is coming at some cost, but decisionmakers have decided that cost is not high.
    Asia Times







    Just read your bolded part and now I'm even more amused

  5. #5
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    CPEC Authority will even impose penalties against PM and President



    Where do Indians come up with this kind of logic

  6. #6
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    full speed ahead!!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigboii View Post

    full speed ahead!!
    Another one of those propaganda videos. These fake documentaries and 'analysis' are regularly churned out by multiple Western outlets to mold perception against China. Won't be surpurised if Srivastava group is into it as well.

    Meanwhile, CPEC is progressing well even under covid. The kind of infrastructural change we are witnessing now under CPEC is unprecedented in our history. It will take about 5 years before we fully realize the benefits of CPEC. Here is a list of CPEC projects and their current status,

    http://cpec.gov.pk/progress-update#
    Last edited by Greenstorm; 21st January 2021 at 21:56.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigboii View Post

    full speed ahead!!
    Not sure how it's stalled. It's a 15 year project, lol. There are a ton of projects still in progress under cpec.

  9. #9
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    CPEC makes some jealous, others envious !


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  10. #10
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    ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan's federal and regional governments are taking a series of actions, including giving the status of regional subcapital and promoting tourism, to revive the struggling town of Gwadar, whose port -- built and operated by the Chinese -- hardly receives ship calls.

    Experts believe these actions will not work unless infrastructure gaps are addressed in Gwadar, which is the center stage of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the $50 billion Pakistan component of the Belt and Road Initiative.

    In the first days of April, a news item was published in several Pakistani newspapers quoting a Chinese media outlet, Gwadar Pro, as saying that Gwadar had been given the status of capital of South Balochistan. This proved to be incorrect -- there is no South Balochistan.

    However, officials of the Balochistan government, who requested anonymity, confirmed to Nikkei Asia that the regional government is in the process of making Gwadar a subcapital of Balochistan that will house several high-ranking government officials in a provincial camp office.

    "If senior government officers set up offices in Gwadar [as a subcapital], then it will resolve a lot of problems," Aslam Bhootani, the National Assembly member representing Gwadar, told Nikkei. He added that Gwadar is the future of Balochistan, and declaring it a subcapital would help develop the region.

    Analysts do not agree with the government's move to revive Gwadar Port by making administrative tweaks.

    Michael Kugelman, the deputy director of the Asia Program at the Wilson Center in Washington, said that trying to bring more prominence and attractiveness to Gwadar through sudden administrative changes is bound to fail unless Gwadar is able to become a truly developed and functional port. "Progress on the ground is what will bring acclaim to Gwadar, and government can't engineer progress through public relations campaigns," he told Nikkei.

    "This is a desperate move by the Pakistani government to create buy-in for the Gwadar Port," said Malik Siraj Akbar, a South Asia analyst based in Washington. He told Nikkei that the government is taking these cosmetic measures to create media hype and divert attention from the grievances of the local people in Gwadar.

    Lately, the government has also started to promote Gwadar as a tourist destination. The most high-profile visitor to Gwadar last week was U.S. Charge d'Affaires Angela Aggeler, who was the first U.S. diplomat to visit Gwadar in the last 15 years. Last week the chief minister of the Balochistan government, Jam Kamal Khan, inaugurated the Coastal Tourism App for District Gwadar.

    In the recent past, government has sponsored trips of celebrities and sportsmen to attract tourism to Gwadar. The government has also promoted a newly built cricket stadium in Gwadar as one of the most beautiful cricket stadiums in the world.

    Kugelman thinks the visit of the U.S. top diplomat was an attempt by Pakistan to drum up international support for Gwadar. Pakistan is keen to telegraph its willingness to take on investors that go beyond Beijing and wants Gwadar to be on the world's radar. "The problem for Islamabad is that Washington doesn't perceive the investment climate in Pakistan to be nearly as attractive as it is elsewhere, especially in the growing economies of Southeast Asia and elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific," he analyzed.

    Akbar was more critical of the approach used by the government. "You can't run a port by merely organizing cricket matches and concerts or via Twitter campaigns," Akbar said, adding that the government needs a more serious approach toward Gwadar and must prove that Gwadar has the infrastructure needed to operate as a modern port city.

    The government's attempts to promote Gwadar have further highlighted the infrastructure gaps in the port town.

    Nasir Rahim Sohrabi, a prominent social activist, tweeted on Sunday that the main market of Gwadar had been without electricity for 11 days, which exposes the infrastructure gaps in the so-called Singapore of the future.

    Bhootani agrees that Gwadar is developing very slowly and said it will take some time before this project can kick off.

    "Gwadar Port was established 15 years ago, but so far it has failed to deliver," he said. When there will be no electricity and proper road connectivity for heavy traffic, then Gwadar can't kick off as a viable commercial project, he added.

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Be...nd-Road-s-port


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    CPEC makes some jealous, others envious !
    you yourself posted the reality of CPEC...


    “Government is not a solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Chacha Ronald Reagan


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