In these turbulent times, Pakistan’s relationship with China provides an essential anchor for its security and foreign policy and the foundation for its socioeconomic development. China meets Pakistan’s defence requirements; it is building Pakistan’s infrastructure; it is a bulwark against aggression by India and bullying by the US.
The BRI is vital not so much for China as for the developing countries. The World Bank has estimated that developing countries need an investment of over $100 billion in infrastructure annually. The US and the West are unwilling or unable to finance this; China is doing so. Western opposition to BRI is essentially a ‘dog-in-the-manger’ approach. Criticism of BRI as ‘debt diplomacy’ is a misplaced extrapolation of the West’s century-old strategy to ‘capture’ the resources and compromise the leaders of poorer nations. Chinese lending for government projects is provided on extremely soft terms.
All the projects under CPEC were selected by successive Pakistani governments. The Gwadar port, road and rail links, oil and gas pipelines, were identified during the Musharraf government. The power projects were added by the PML-N government. Most of these projects will help advance Pakistan’s industrialisation and economic expansion.
As already agreed, CPEC’s scope will be broadened in future. The Special Economic Zones can provide the avenue for rapid industrialisation and export expansion. CPEC can also incorporate ‘social infrastructure’: education institutions, healthcare facilities, garbage and sewage treatment plants, public amenities, housing projects, environmental protection projects.
The anticipated strengthening of the strategic partnership is not designed as an alliance against any third country (unlike the US-India relationship explicitly meant to ‘contain’ China). But the reinforced Pakistan-China partnership will enable both countries to more confidently confront the multiple challenges they face in an increasingly turbulent world. The Chinese pictogram for ‘challenge’ also means ‘opportunity’. It is thus that Chairman Mao declared: “There is great disorder under the heavens; the situation is excellent!
Extract from article by Munir Akram: https://www.dawn.com/news/1441863/the-china-agenda
Economist Yasheng Huang compares China to India, and asks how China’s authoritarian rule contributed to its astonishing economic growth — leading to a big question: Is democracy actually holding India back? Huang’s answer may surprise you.
Speaking at a TED Salon in London, Martin Jacques asks: How do we in the West make sense of China and its phenomenal rise? The author of “When China Rules the World,” he examines why the West often puzzles over the growing power of the Chinese economy, and offers three building blocks for understanding what China is and will become.
Historian and diplomat Joseph Nye gives us the 30,000-foot view of the shifts in power between China and the US, and the global implications as economic, political and “soft” power shifts and moves around the globe.
India is fast becoming a superpower, says Shashi Tharoor — not just through trade and politics, but through “soft” power, its ability to share its culture with the world through food, music, technology, Bollywood. He argues that in the long run it’s not the size of the army that matters as much as a country’s ability to influence the world’s hearts and minds.
Hans Rosling was a young guest student in India when he first realized that Asia had all the capacities to reclaim its place as the world’s dominant economic force. At TEDIndia, he graphs global economic growth since 1858 and predicts the exact date that India and China will outstrip the US.