A historic milestone in China-Pakistan relations is set to be established on Monday when Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives to discuss plans for a $34 billion energy and infrastructure partnership. This will be the first visit in nine years from the Chinese president to the region and is set to make old allies new again. The partnership is being viewed as a power play by China to increase the country’s projection of power from Asia, and to solidify a corridor for trade between Pakistan’s southern Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea and China’s western Xinjiang region.
Reuters reports that if China follows through with the projected $34 billion campaign in the region, its spending will far exceed U.S. spending in the country. Mushahid Hussain Sayed, chairman of the Pakistani parliament’s defence committee, notes that the infusion of money from China will solidify the shift of economic power from the West to China. Sayed notes that China will do all in its power to ensure the projects pan out as expected so that the project will be viewed as a success and not tarnish their image.
“Pakistan, for China, is now of pivotal importance. This has to succeed and be seen to succeed. China and Pakistan need to align security concerns more closely to strengthen security cooperation.”
According to the Pakistan Observer, when Jinping arrives to Pakistan on Monday, he plans to discuss a number of issues including energy, transport infrastructure, agriculture, finance, tourism, poverty alleviation, and cultural exchanges. Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong says that the plan will not only solidify relations between Pakistan and China, but also create an important link for trade and commerce between Asia, Europe and Africa.
“The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as an important part of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, that would run through Asia, Europe and Africa. It would be a driving force for common development in the region.”
It was noted that the main idea of the partnership is to achieve connectivity in the region so that goods could flow more freely between all regions. Part of that process will be ensuring that the people of Pakistan have a more reliable energy source and that a number of poverty concerns are addressed. Hence the infusion of money by China into the region in an attempts to stabilize the area economically.
What do you think about the China-Pakistan relationship with China offering to infuse the region with $34 billion in funds?
[Photo by Alexey Kudenko/RIA Novosti via Getty Images]