How China Can Offer Pakistan a Path From the Precipice
Valued at $62 billion, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a focal point of the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s ambitious undertaking to enhance connectivity between Asia, Europe, and Africa. CPEC promises to create economic prosperity by turning Gwadar, Pakistan, into a trade hub that links China to the rest of Asia and Europe. However, with Pakistan’s economy suffering and in the midst of a bailout by the International Monetary Fund, Islamabad has been more carefully scrutinizing CPEC’s affordability. Pakistan has been coming to terms with the massive, unsustainable amount of Chinese loans it has taken to implement these projects.
Six years into this initiative, Beijing is beginning to acknowledge the growing international criticism about its distortive lending practices, and it is pledging to instill a greater level of openness, transparency, and sustainability. The Chinese government is taking steps to not only help Pakistan, which has been dubbed its “all-weather friend,” to restore its economic balance, but also to realize the true promise of CPEC.
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