The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has deepened the decades-long strategic relationship between the two nations. But it has also sparked criticism for burdening Pakistan with mountains of debt and allowing China to use its debt-trap diplomacy to gain access to strategic assets of Pakistan.
The foundations of CPEC, part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, were laid in May 2013. At the time, Pakistan was reeling under weak economic growth. China committed to play an integral role in supporting Pakistan’s economy.
Pakistan and China have a strategic relationship that goes back decades. Pakistan turned to China at a time when it needed a rapid increase in external financing to meet critical investments in hard infrastructure, particularly power plants and highways. CPEC’s early harvest projects met this need, leading to a dramatic increase in Pakistan’s power generation capacity, bringing an end to supply-side constraints that had made rolling blackouts a regular occurrence across the country.
Pakistan leaned into CPEC, leveraging Chinese financing and technical assistance in an attempt to end power shortages that had paralyzed its country’s economy. Years later, China’s influence in Pakistan has increased at an unimaginable pace.
Q. Outline and discuss any two economic advantages of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) accruing to the economy of Pakistan.