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22 Dec 2021

Aziz, Sheraz - Panda Paw Dragon Claw

Pakistan: The changing dynamics of the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor

"Sino-Pakistan relations: The changing dynamics of the CPEC", 22 December 2021

[...] Political opposition, financial debt, corruption, an insurgency in Balochistan, and a growing resentment towards China are just a few factors that are affecting the thinking on CPEC. [...] There is also the issue of Gwadar port. Despite being the central focus of CPEC and multibillion dollar projects, the port city lacks fundamental public goods such as clean water and electricity. This has fueled anti-Chinese sentiment in the region. In August of 2021, protests were held in Gwadar against the shortage of basic necessities; protestors included local fishers who accused Chinese trawlers of illegal fishing on the coast. [...]

The need for open stakeholder engagement

Beijing must find a better mechanism to bring all stakeholders in CPEC to the table. While it is still early to come to conclusions, appointing a civilian, Khalid Mansoor, as head of the CPEC authority is a move in the right direction. Beijing must find a way to engage with all the political parties and stakeholders, particularly those in Balochistan and Sindh. Companies operating under CPEC must train and hire more workers from those provinces so that local people can enjoy some of the economic fruits of the projects. [...]