Tuesday, April 21, 2015

China invests $46 billion in Pakistan's infrastructure

Pakistan and the U. S. and China have a common interest in Pakistan's security via counter-terrorism measures. If radicalism can be be controlled, then China's investment may pay off big time for Pakistan - and China. Here are a couple of snippets from the analysis in Al Jazeera.

For Pakistan, the Chinese plans promise a much-needed boost to the country’s creaky infrastructure. They include, for example, a slew of power projects for a country where some areas suffer up to 18 hours without electricity each day. Other plans involve a network of roads and railway lines for an economy that is estimated to lose up to 6 percent of its gross domestic product because of poor transport links. The Arabian Sea port of Gawadar will be developed, and a highway linking the Arabian Sea to the western provinces of China is to be the central artery of what planners call a Pakistan-China economic corridor.

"This will put China much more center stage politically in Pakistan than ever before," said Andrew Small, the author of the book "The China-Pakistan Axis: Asia’s New Geopolitics."

But here is the caveat:

It will be up to the Pakistanis to get the projects up and running within the next couple of years and to stabilize the security situation to ensure that happens. The Chinese have a lot riding on these deals, and the Pakistanis have raised their expectations. "There’s an urgency in measuring up to those expectations," says Mosharraf Zaidi, a policy analyst and former adviser to Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry. "This is the one relationship that if Pakistan fails to deliver, it will render itself friendless."

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