Reported by: The Voice of UK (Asia)
Establishment of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was first proposed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during his visit to Pakistan in May 2013. The proposed project of linking Kashgar in northwest China with Gwadar Port on Arabian Sea coastline in Baluchistan was approved on July 5, 2013 during the visit of PM Nawaz Sharif to Beijing, which included construction of 200 km long tunnel. China is investing $60 billion dollar in CPEC.
CPEC is of great significance to the development of China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership and the building of the community of shared destiny between China and Pakistan. CPEC will provide new opportunities, new vision as well as new impetus to China-Pakistan relations. CPEC is facing Pakistan as a whole and will bring benefits to Pakistani people. It will effectively promote the economic and social development of Pakistan. The construction of CPEC will enhance connectivity and integration of development strategies of China and Pakistan, which is in the fundamental interests of our two peoples. Both sides are committed to building CPEC and completing a number of major projects with high quality and on schedule, so as to achieve win-win results and bring benefits to people in China and Pakistan as well as other countries in the region.
CPEC includes $ 33 billion worth energy projects such as coal, solar, hydroelectric power projects which will inject 10,400 MW electricity in the national grid by 2017/18, and hydro power projects.
fiber optic cable from Xingjiang to Rawalpindi
1240 km long Karachi-Lahore motorway
metro and bus service in six major cities, up gradation of 1300 km long Karakorum Highway
oil/gas pipelines to connect Kashgar to the seaport of Gwadar
1,800-km railway line
special economic zones
dry ports and other infrastructure.
There are three major routes:
• Eastern route will include Gwadar, Basima, Khuzdar, Sukkar, Rahim Yar Khan, Bhawalpur, Multan, Lahore/Faisalabad, Islamabad, Mansehra, khunjrab pass.
• Central route will originate from Gwadar, Quetta, and reach DIK via Basima, Khuzdar, Sukkar, Rajanpur, Liya, Muzaffargarh, Bhakkar, Dera Ismail Khan.
• Western route originating from Gwadar will pass through Turbat, Panjgur, Naag, Basima, Sohrab, Kalat, Quetta, Qila Saifullah, Zhob DIK, Mianwali, Hasanabdal, Islamabd.
CPEC is for Pakistan as a whole and will bring benefits to the Pakistani people including the people from the western parts. Some CPEC projects in the western parts of Pakistan are making progress. For example, the KKH (Thakot to Havelian) phase Ⅱ and Suki Kinari Hydropower Station are located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The China-Pakistan Cross-border Fiber Optic Cable Project and ML1 railway upgradation (framework agreement under active discussion as of December 2016) also pass through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Peshawar and Quetta are included in roads of CPEC as node points. CPEC Transport Monographic Study, approved in the 5th JCC, includes Burhan-D.I.Khan, Quetta-Sorab roads as short-term projects. The Gwadar Port, Gwadar Free Zone, Gwadar East-bay Expressway, Gwadar International Airport, Gwadar coal-fired power plant and HUBCO coal-fired power plant are all in Balochistan province.
These projects will help boost employment and tax collection, strengthen the provincial road connectivity, promote economic development as well as improve people’s living standard.