Pakistan role in China’s global expansion

Pakistan role in China’s global expansion

Pakistan is the second most populous country in the Islamic world with a population of over 193 million.

The elections of federal and state councils in Pakistan were considered crucial for the country’s destiny. The Pakistani Justice Movement leader Imran Khan, former cricket player, who won the 272-seat federal parliamentary elections on July 25, 2018, was seated at the prime minister’s post, declaring his final victory after the elections. There is a bigger problem besides the tension with India in the new prime minister’s agenda.

In the country with a gross national product of 283 billion dollars, the per capita national income was at the level of 1222 dollars a year. The goal of improving the economy in Pakistan, where income inequality has reached remarkable dimensions, has become the main agenda of politics in recent years. The government aims to improve the infrastructure of the country by attracting foreign investments to the country and to revive the economy.Possible change in Pakistan’s regional strategy as a nuclear power is undoubtedly a source of concern within the US’s security umbrella approach in Asia. It is possible to find comments on Pakistan’s “new imperialism of China” in a special report published in the Washington Post by Ishaan Tharoor on August 10th. The author reminds us of examples from Southeast Asia, suggesting that China has increased its political activity in many countries by using investment and loans as an effective tool. Tharoor reports that the Sri Lanka government has failed to pay China’s credit for building an airport, and that it has gone to Beijing to give some ports and land the right to operate. The author also argues that China is a kind of “creditor imperialism” because of such examples.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CCPP), which plays a critical role in China’s Generation and Road Initiative, is seen as an opportunity for the country to open up to foreign investment. By 2018, it is estimated that the number of small-scale projects carried out by Chinese companies on Pakistani soil has exceeded 200. Trade areas between China and Pakistan, which are available to be developed on the basis of the CPS, include sectors such as agriculture, textiles, mining and food processing. In these sectors – some of which are frowned upon – investments will benefit both sides; it is judged that the initiative has a win-win formula.

The increase in investment from China is also causing some changes in Pakistan’s foreign policy preferences. As a matter of fact, in 2008, the Islamabad administration announced that it will purchase 8 submarines worth US $ 6 billion from China.

Under the Generation and Road Initiative announced by President Xi Jinping in 2013, China is expected to spend US $ 890 billion in 900 sub-projects, with a total investment of US $ 5 billion. In addition to the investments, China is also planning to give US $ 130 billion in loans under the initiative. The initiative, which stands out as the most important step in the strategy of China’s outward opening, is considered as one of the pillars of the foreign policy vision of the country in the new period. While emphasizing that the Beijing Management Generation and the Way are not conducted with political motives, it is possible to come across a lot of criticism in the Western press through examples like Sri Lanka.

Gwadar Port and Pakistan, which has allowed China to open the Gulf of Oman, are also being criticized. Uniquely deepening the economic and political ties with China to a nuclear-armed nation is a danger ring for the US and its allies, who are disturbed by Beijing’s growing presence in Asia. In this respect, the US press reports and commentaries argue that China is pursuing an eco-political imperialism through investments and loans. However, it is not yet possible to achieve an objective view of the result that China moves with imperial motives. The time will come when new Prime Minister Imran Khan will develop relations with China and how relations with the United States will be affected in the process.


About Author

Arnaud Lefevre

Arnaud Lefevre is the Chief Executive Officer of Dynatom International. Arnaud is in charge of the international development of the business portfolio.