What is CPEC?
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an economic corridor which is under development and partially completed aimed to fully facilitate trade route that connects Pakistan (Gwadar) and China (Kashgar) through the development and construction of railways, highways and pipelines, energy sectors and development of Gwadar port worth nearly $64 billion.
AN INTRODUCTION OF CPEC PAKISTAN
China Pakistan Economic Corridor is a structure and framework of regional connectivity of Pakistan with China. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a massive bilateral project to improve the infrastructure within Pakistan to put the trade on the fast track with China and it will be further integrated with other countries of the region. CPEC is not only supposed to benefit Pakistan or China but will have a positive impact on Asian states like; Afghanistan, Iran, India and Central Asian Republic states and the entire region. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was launched on April 20, 2015, by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chinese President Xi-Jinping and signed MOU of 51 agreements with the total worth of $64 billion. The objective of CPEC is to
- Transform Pakistan Economy by modernizing, developing and upgrading its Roads, Railway System, Air transport system and Energy sectors for industries.
- Connectivity of deep sea ports of Gwadar and Karachi to China’s province Xinjiang as well Asia, Europe and Africa. The border of Xinjiang connects the countries of Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and India. These are connected with ancient silk road.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor offers free and frequent exchanges of people to people contact and exchange of businesses, exchange and understanding of academic, cultural and regional knowledge and activity of high volume trades and production of energy from the energy sectors. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is the part of larger Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which is focused to improve the Connectivity of regions, Communication, trade and cooperation between the countries of Europe-Asia. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is an objective and destination towards economic regionalization in the global world. It offers development, peace and win-win model for all.
EXPANSION OF GWADAR PORT UNDER CPEC
The Chinese government has a strategic interest in Gwadar port. In 2013, China Overseas Ports Holdings Company Limited (COPHC) took the control of Gwadar port. The Gwadar port is strategically important for China because of 60% of oil trade happens from the Persian Gulf through ships travelling about 16000 Kilometers which take about 1 or 2 months facing bad weather, political rivals and other risks confronting to its only commercial port Shanghai. Gwadar port will approximately cover and reduce 5000 Kilometers and will be the operational whole year. The Chinese government is offering 80% cost of the port in the shape of soft loans and grants. About 500 workers have worked on Gwadar port to complete the setup and still, the large number of workers is working on the port. The Chinese government has paid
$360 million to Pakistan for the up-gradation and expansion of Karakoram Highway linking China with Pakistan. This project was awarded to Frontier Works Organization (FWO).
- China is heavily dependent on the Persian Gulf oil which is transported through Strait of Malacca which passes through India and Pacific Oceans. Once the oil is delivered to the east coast port of China, it is shipped further towards Western China which covers thousands of miles.
- The Gwadar port connected through the Karakoram highway offers safe, secure, shorter and Cheaper transporting route.
- The Pakistani government has offered a naval base to China in Gwadar. This step will boost the relations between China and Pakistan.
- According to some analysts report that China showed interest to build the naval base, while others stated that China will be cautious about the naval base development at Gwadar port because of it provokes a significant reaction from India and USA.
Gwadar port lies on the Arabian Sea coast of Pakistan which is situated on a naturally hammerhead-shaped peninsula which forms two bays What is in CPEC? China-Pakistan Economic Corridor not only covers the development of infrastructure but it also includes.
- Development of Infrastructure projects
- Development of Energy Projects
- Agricultural projects
- Fibre optic project
- Construction and up-gradation of railway projects
- Universities and Vocational training centres
The 800-foot isthmus upon which Gwadar is located separates the semi-circular bays from each bay. The eastern bay is known as Demi Zirr harbour on which Gwadar port is constructed. The Western bay is known as Paddi Zirr and has the total depth of 12 feet with an average depth of 30 meters.
POPULATION OF GWADAR CITY
The population of the city has risen to approximately 100,000 as analysis of 2016.
CLIMATE OF GWADAR CITY
The climate of Gwadar city located from 0 meters to 300 meters (0 to 984 ft) above the Sea level which is defined as dry and hot arid climate. The Ocean Winds keep the temperature lower in the summer and higher in winter. The temperature of Gwadar city in the hottest month of June remains between 31 °C to 32 °C (88 °F to 99 °F) and the mean temperature in the coldest month of December to January varies from 18 °C to 19 °C (64°F to 66 °F). According to weather movements, winds moving down the Balochistan plateau bring cold winds otherwise the winter season of Gwadar city is always pleasant. In Summer (June-August) it receives light monsoon showers although Gwadar city is outside Monsoon belt. However, in the winter season, it causes heavy rainfall and it is identical to the Middle East weather. The highest rainfall on 6 June 2010 in 24 hours was recorded 227 millimetres (8.9 in).
Gwadar is the district headquarters of Gwadar District and the tehsil (subdistrict) headquarters of Gwadar Tehsil, which is administratively subdivided into five Union councils. Three of these councils, the northern, central, and southern councils, form Gwadar city.
Gwadar’s location and history have given it a unique blend of cultures. The Arabic influence upon Gwadar is strong as a consequence of the Omani era and its close proximity to the Arabian peninsula. The legacy of the Omanis is observed in the local Makrani population who can trace their lineage to Arabs and Zanjs slaves, who settled in the town during Omani rule. They have an Arab dance and music called Liwa, which is also performed in the Arabian peninsula.
The port of Gwadar Port can provide China a Listening Post to Observe the Indian naval activities around the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Aden. Central Asia and South asia, encompassing the Caspian Region, Central Asian republics, Afganistan and Iran, and the energy-rich ‘lake’ called the Caspian Sea, is a significant region because of its huge monetary prospective and geographically vital positioning, which has formed the region as a Centre piece in the international arena. Iran has also declared support for the development of Gwadar and its port.
Gwadar’s economy has, in the past, been dependent mostly on fishing. It’s economy, however, is undergoing rapid transformation as a small fishing village is being transformed into a major port city of Pakistan with improved communication links with the rest of Pakistan. In 1993, the Government of Pakistan commenced a feasibility study for the construction of a deep-sea port at Gwadar. On 22 March 2002, the Government of Pakistan began construction of Gwadar Port, a modern deep-sea port, the first phase of which was completed in December 2005 and the second in March 2007. Gwadar Port became fully operational in December 2009. The 1400 km TRANS AFGHAN PIPLINE (TAP) from Turkmenistan to Gwadar (Pakistan), a long-dormant project that would pump Turkmen natural gas to markets in South Asia, may finally be poised to begin at a cost of $3 billion.
GAWADAR FREE ZONE
The construction on a $2 billion 10-square kilometer tax exempt industrial zone began on June 20, 2016. The zone includes a 300MW plant exclusive for the industrial zone.