Pak-China mutually beneficial economic cooperation leading to a brighter future: scholars

By Mariam Raheem | Gwadar Pro May 12, 2023

“China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has achieved its minimum targets despite domestic and regional political and economic constraints,” expressed Muhammad Amir Rana, a visiting scholar from Pakistan, who delivered a speech on May 11, 2023, at the 55th Youth Academic Workshop on International Studies of Fudan University (YAWIS Fudan). 

During his presentation that CPEC project a significant component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Pakistan, the visiting scholar made a speech titled “CPEC Security: Challenges and Response”, highlighting the successes of CPEC and hurdles in the way of BRI. 

Amir Rana stated that the CPEC has significantly impacted Pakistan's counter-terrorism approach. “The initiative helped the government, including economic growth and military advancement. It allows them to leverage their strengths in dealing with conventional security challenges to tackle emerging issues like counter-terrorism more effectively.”

However, Pakistan faces geopolitical compulsions such as the Indian factor and its dependence on Western military hardware, which hindered the successful execution of the CPEC project in the country, he added. 

The scholar also asserted that Pakistan’s distinct political issues and the attitude of the power elites also caused problems in achieving the targets of CPEC related projects. “The country has not fully understood the significance of the narratives required for such a transnational mega initiative, nor has it adequately countered the adverse effects caused by Western and Indian propaganda. Additionally, the prevailing mindset among elites and the middle class is heavily influenced by the West is a factor of mistrust between the two people of two countries,” he underlined. 

Mr. Rana identified extremism as another major challenge for Pakistan and CPEC. The issues are compounded by superiority syndrome and a narrow worldview. Extremism poses a threat not only to Pakistan but also to CPEC.  

Despite these challenges, Amir Rana remains optimistic about resolving the issues and promising the implementation of CPEC. He believes that deepening multi-level exchanges between China and Pakistan will further strengthen Pak-China relationship. This will be achieved through mutually beneficial economic cooperation, leading to a brighter future, he said.

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