China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: An Economic Corridor or a Corridor to Great Power Politics
Keywords:BRI, China-Pakistan Relations, Connectivity, CPEC, Infrastructure, OBOR, Sovereignty
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the sixth corridor planned on the ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR), formally now termed the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI). This is one of the most prominent parts of this project, planned to connect three of the world’s continents. This article focuses solely on CPEC and its economic development perspectives for Pakistan and China to explore how this project contrasts with China’s openly declared commitment to restructuring regional infrastructure and connectivity. What is China’s motive behind this project to reshape the regional structure of power in South Asia? China is replacing the USA in Pakistan, as according to most analysts it will replace the American presence in the entire region of South Asia. This makes CPEC highly important not only for China but for the US, India, and Russia as well. This project is analysed through the lens of the ‘theory of power’ presented by Steven Lukes (1974) whose ‘three faces of power’ are helpful here in highlighting the ability of an actor to become powerful through exercising various faces of power. An attempt is also made to demonstrate how important it is for Pakistan to maintain neutrality through this project and to protect its sovereignty.
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