The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that was officially launched in April 2015, promised transformational gains. The CSIS Reconnecting Asia Project collected open-source data to analyze the initiative's progress five years later.
Pakistan and China recently signed new memorandums of understanding (MoUs) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during President Arif Alvi's visit to China, but experts doubt China's willingness to substantially increase economic assistance to Pakistan, including to combat the coronavirus outbreak, Nikkei reports.
A flurry of recent diplomatic activity highlights the multilateral and multi-stakeholder footing of Eurasia's North-South trade and transport initiatives. While significant economic and political challenges remain, they retain the potential to transform Eurasia's economic landscape.
The Gwadar Smart Port City Masterplan, part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, has attracted criticism due to lack of transparency and aims that some experts call unrealistic. The plan estimates over 2000 percent population growth by 2050 and will require more than $648 million for basic infrastructure alone, Nikkei reports.
Browse our analysis section for news and articles on topics such as China's Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), the Competing Visions of Japan, India, and other regional powers, and the stakes for U.S. policy.
Fears of the new coronavirus spreading to Pakistan have delayed projects along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Lahore and South Punjab, including work on the Orange Line Metro Train, Nikkei reports.
China’s growing military ambition in South Asia is matched in financial terms by its Belt and Road Initiative, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. What remains unclear is how the U.S. should navigate the new dynamic. This report addresses the question of how the India-Pakistan rivalry will play into the emerging great power competition.
Afghanistan recently began shipping goods through Pakistan's Gwadar Port, part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, in a development experts believe may increase Kabul's participation in China's Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
In the wake of rising regional tensions due to conflict with Iran, Pakistan is working to maintain stability and advance progress on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan’s Minister for Economic Affairs says that phase two of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which began January 1, will address the trade deficit caused by phase one with an expanded free trade agreement and an increased focus on industrialization and socio-economic development, Nikkei reports.
In in effort to make the costly China-Pakistan Economic Corridor profitable, Islamabad is encouraging nearby countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia to participate in the initiative alongside China, Nikkei reports.
Starting today in Beijing, China will begin brokering peace talks among rival Afghan factions in hopes of increasing stability in the region and furthering the reach of its Belt and Road Initiative in Central Asia, Nikkei reports.
During a recent trip to Tokyo, Pakistan's President, Arif-ur-Rehman Alvi, expressed hope that both Japan and China will continue to invest in the country's infrastructure to help spur economic development, Nikkei reports.
The provincial government of Sindh, Pakistan is looking to Japan for funding for the Karachi Circular Railway, previously funded through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan's Prime Minister, Imran Khan, is due to speak at a high profile China-Pakistan business forum on Tuesday where he is expected to reaffirm his country's openness to Chinese investment. His two-day visit to Beijing comes amid uncertainty over the future of projects under the $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Nikkei reports.
A Chinese delegation was in Balochistan, Pakistan early in September, attempting to speed up progress on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects, which have moved slowly due to governmental and local criticism in Pakistan, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan's policymakers have cited financial pressures and the need to balance ties between China and the U.S. as the reasons behind slow progress on The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Nikkei reports.
The government of Pakistan has announced plans to set up a new body, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority, to expedite projects under China's Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
This spring, when the International Monetary Fund approved a $6 billion bailout for Pakistan, an invaluable opportunity was missed to push for greater transparency of China’s Belt and Road Initiative by not requiring project contracts for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor—a significant source of Pakistan’s debt—to be made public.
The China National Nuclear Corp. finished structural work for the Hualong One nuclear reactor in the Pakistani city of Karachi this June. Chinese President Xi Jinping hopes to install similar nuclear technology at more locations along the Belt and Road Initiative, with 30 units by 2030, which is estimated to create 5 million jobs and provide a total economic boost of $145 billion, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan will slash spending on BRI projects in the next year as the government struggles to balance its finances. These budget cuts arrive amid growing recognition from Beijing of the complications involved with Pakistan and other nations incurring heavy debt to finance BRI projects, reports Nikkei.
Pakistan's prime minister, Imran Khan, visited southern Balochistan province last week following Balochistan's claims that the province was not getting a significant share of the Beijing-funded $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. During his visit to Balochistan, Khan inaugurated several construction projects seen as crucial for the local economy, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Pakistan has diverted around $171.6 million meant for joint infrastructure development projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a flagship effort under China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), into other construction plans. This signals that Islamabad may be distancing itself from Beijing and the BRI, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
To effectively leverage the infrastructure financing opportunities provided by the Belt & Road Initiative, countries must examine their own development strategies and build domestic skills and institutions, argues Ganeshan Wignaraja for the Nikkei Asian Review.
Weeks after a meeting of government officials from Beijing and Islamabad, the environmental impact of China-led coal-fired power generation projects in Pakistan is still a hot topic of debate. Lack of disclosure on plans associated with $62 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which forms a crucial part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, is spurring local environmental concerns.
China's $2.5 billion offer to bailout Pakistan as its foreign exchange reserves dry up disappointed Islamabad, which reportedly sought $6 billion from Beijing. Pakistan's balance of payments crisis could threaten the $62 billion Beijing has invested in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, reports Nikkei.
It is clear that China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) carries important implications not only for the world’s water resources, but also for politics in BRI countries. One of the worst outcomes would be for it to exacerbate the growing number of local conflicts over shared, and often shrinking, water resources.
Saudi Arabia plans to build Pakistan's largest oil refinery near Gwadar port, the flagship project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The oil refinery, part of Saudi Arabia's new commitment to invest $15 billion in Pakistan over the next three years, could fuel competition with Beijing for economic leverage given China's significant investment there under CPEC, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Saudi Arabia plans to set up a $10 billion oil refinery at Pakistan's Chinese-funded Gwadar port, according to a statement given by the Saudi energy minister. Pakistan's petroleum minister, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, has said that the project will make Saudi Arabia an important partner in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The government of Pakistan awarded a $2.21 billion contract to build the Mohmand dam to a consortium of China Gezhouba and Descon—the latter founded by Abdul Razak Dawood, the prime minister's adviser on commerce and industry. The conflict of interest has drawn scrutiny from the government's leading opposition party which has called for an investigation of the project's procurement process.
Pakistan is asking China to shift its investment focus from power and infrastructure projects to industrialization, agriculture, and education as regards the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Reconnecting Asia tracks infrastructure developments across Eurasia, a vast landmass that includes 60 percent of the global economy. Every day, new infrastructure projects are announced, some are advanced, and others encounter obstacles. Here is a selection of projects and trends we will be watching in 2019.
Pakistan faces a financial crisis and has secured a bailout package from Saudi Arabia, but surprisingly, it has yet to secure a similar package from China. Pakistan expected a decent bailout package from China, which is often called Pakistan’s all-weather friend, but China likely wants more detailed negotiations. Five reasons help explain China’s surprising response.
Five years into China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative, the United States is trying to respond to Xi Jinping’s infrastructure-building spree. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Reconnecting Asia Director Jonathan Hillman discusses the craving for more alternatives to Chinese offers and the window of opportunity it creates for the United States.
As he heads for a face-to-face meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan is reportedly planning to renegotiate CPEC and to make it align more with Pakistan's interests, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
When it was launched, China heralded its Belt and Road Initiative as a “golden opportunity” to revitalize the region, but today it has raised serious concerns about debt sustainability, drawing scrutiny from the IMF. One way for Beijing to demonstrate its commitment to addressing the IMF's concerns is by partnering to develop more sustainable and transparent lending practices.
Pakistan has formally asked the International Monetary Fund for financial assistance amid pressure to meet external debt obligations, reports the Nikkei Asian Review. IMF help will require absolute transparency on the nature, size, and terms of the country's debt, including its BRI investment from China.
Five years after the announcement of China's Belt and Road, the ambitious drive to build new infrastructure across Eurasia has produced a mixed track record on key issues such as its energy footprint, debt sustainability, and environmental impact.
"As demand for network bandwidth grows among Belt and Road countries, China will exert its technological dominance and set global standards through centrally-coordinated fiber-optic roll-outs, the establishment of data centers, and the deployment of communications, positioning, and observation satellites."
Pakistan's new prime minister Imran Khan is deciding whether the country should turn to the International Monetary Fund or to China for financial support. The new administration must resolve its shortage of foreign exchange reserves caused by a sharp increase in imports through BRI-related projects and the redemption of external debt.
The U.S.'s recently announced plan to invest $113 million in infrastructure throughout the Indo-Pacific region will have a limited impact and pales in comparison to China's multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative, according to Dr. James Crabtree of the National University of Singapore.
Energy projects account for more than 60 percent of the roughly $62 billion in investment along the China-Pakistan Economic Corrdior. While CPEC's power plants have the potential to greatly increase access to electricity for Pakistan’s population, they could also pose serious risks to surrounding wildlife.
AIIB president Jin Liqun announced his intent to create financial stability for the bank's 87 member countries and establish the AIIB as a multilateral development bank commensurate with the World Bank Group, Asian Development Bank, and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Most countries along the BRI have urgent infrastructure development needs and many are considered too high-risk for traditional investors, the result being that their governments have been highly receptive to Beijing’s offers of financing, building, and operating infrastructure projects.
Pakistan is offering an ambitious tax amnesty program which it hopes will help the country borrow $60 billion from China and commercial sources for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
A close look at the characteristics of China's port projects in the Indo-Pacific suggests that rather than resulting in "win-win" economic prosperity, they are generating political leverage, increasing Beijing’s military presence, and reshaping the strategic operating environment in China’s favor.
Seven CSIS experts unpack the economic and geostrategic implications of China’s infrastructure development across the Indo-Pacific region under the Maritime Silk Road.
The city of Karachi, Pakistan's business capital, is planning to improve its bus and rail networks to ease traffic and accelerate economic growth.
A special report by Nikkei Asian Review and The Banker which leverages data from the CSIS Reconnecting Asia Project has found that China's Belt and Road initiative holds considerable promise for countries in need of infrastructure investment along its route, however, participation has been hampered by challenges ranging from a lack of participation by local workers and banks to unmanageable debt hangovers.
As Europe disappears, Asia coheres. The supercontinent is becoming one fluid, comprehensible unit of trade and conflict, as the Westphalian system of states weakens and older, imperial legacies – Russian, Chinese, Iranian, Turkish – become paramount.