Q. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is viewed as a cardinal subset of China’s larger ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative. Give a brief description of CPEC and enumerate the reasons why India has distanced itself from the same. [Answer in 150 Words]
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF OBOR
- One Belt One Road (OBOR) is an ambitious development strategy and framework of China that aims to boost its connectivity and trade with Asia, Africa, Middle East and Europe.
- It seeks to deepen economic connections between China and rest of the world.
- China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an important part of this initiative.
China Pakistan Economic Corridor
- China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) connects China’s Xingjiang province to Pakistan’s Gwadar port via road, rail and waterways.
- It is being seen as China’s ambitious plan to reach European and Middle east countries by the shortest possible route for its trade and transport requirements.
- However, there are apprehensions by India and some other countries as well that in the grab of creating economic route, China is trying to develop a strategic presence that could choke the trade connections of other Countries such as India.
- Although India is in favor of global peace and prosperity yet, India has distanced itself from the CPEC. This is because of many reasons which are enumerated below.
- The Gwadar port of Pakistan would be handled by China thereby allowing China to exploit it with dual use (import-export and service of military vessels).
- As a result of this the trade route of India via Chabahar port through which India imports majority of crude from Iran and Iraq is under a potential risk.
- Pakistan occupied Kashmir is an integral part of India therefore acknowledging CPEC – which passes through PoK – could mean a surrender of the sovereignty of India.
- CPEC has become a symbol of strengthened bilateral relations between China and Pakistan, which might lead to Chinese intervention into the matters of Bilateral disputes of India and Pakistan which not desirable by India at all.
- It has been observed that China has stepped up its military activities in the Pok (on pretext of safeguarding its economic interest), therefore India’s apprehensions are justified in the light of its border security as well.
- In addition to this the road infrastructure being developed in PoK by China could allow easy mobilisation of Pakistani troops and none state terrorist groups that can jeopardise the security of India.
India has always welcomed any initiative that is meant for securing and ensuring global peace and harmony. India believes in the philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”. However, under no circumstances can a peace loving country be expected to compromise its national and strategic interests.