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China, Pakistan sign deals to beef up CPEC project

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To implement the ambitious 3000 km CPEC (China Pakistan Eocnomic Corridor) project, worth of $46 billion, connecting Xinjiang with Pakistan’s Gwadar Port through PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir), China and Pakistan have signed 20 agreements worth $1.6 billion (10.35 billion yuan) at the CPEC Forum held at Karamay city in Xinjiang province bordering PoK. Furthermore they have issued the “Karamay Manifesto” on the CPEC, a major project under China’s Belt and Silk-Road Initiative.

  • A total of 51 agreements were signed during Chinese president Xi Jinping’s visit of which 30 are linked to the strategic economic corridor, regarded as the biggest connectivity project between the two countries after the Karakorum highway built in 1979.
  • The project includes building of highways, railways as well as pipelines and it is among the six economic corridors conceived under China’s Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.

Impacts:

  • The CPEC project seeks to boost economic cooperation, political trust and cultural exchanges between China and Pakistan.
  • It will also shorten the route for China’s energy imports from the Middle East by about 12,000 kms.

India’s point of view:

  • Though the officials stated it as commercial project aimed at improving the lives of people, India has conveyed its objections to China as it passes through disputed territory of Pakistan occupied Kashmir.