sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

CPEC Update

On 16 May, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif, arrived in Beijing for security talks. Press reports related that security of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a major topic of discussion.

Some 12,000 to 13,000 Chinese engineers and laborers are working on the corridor projects in Pakistan. An additional 16,000 to 17,000 more are expected as the project progresses. The corridor area is rife with rebels and bandits and Pakistan committed one infantry division to protect Chinese workers involved in construction.

CPEC is a $46 billion infrastructure project that features a network of railways, roads and pipelines. The 2,400-kilometer long economic corridor will link far western China to Pakistan's southwestern deep water port of Gwadar. The most important aspect of it is that it will enable China to import cargos and oil without relying on the Malacca and Singapore Straits. 

The CEPC project is a key component of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s "Belt and Road" initiative. is expected to include industrial parks, energy projects, and infrastructure projects that will bring a significant number of job opportunities for the Pakistani people. 

The Chinese pushed Pakistan to cancel a US F-16 deal, and they did last week. Now they plan to buy fighters from China. Why is the US providing foreign aid to Pakistan? I have asked that question since the Soviet Union collapsed and nobody can explain why beyond 'access' to Pakistani leaders...which we'd likely have aid or no aid. Pakistan is a very bad actor on the world stage and is not a friend to the US, though its leaders are appreciative (sort of) for their large Swiss bank accounts.

I don't know whether a Trump presidency would bring a more enlightened relationship between the US and Pakistan. Something nags me that it might not - but it should.





16 comments:

  1. Anybody's presidency should.
    Amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A Hillary presidency wouldn't. But you're right, whoever takes office should.

      Delete
  2. Nah, LL. Pakistan is a lost cause, a rogue nation led by Islamist extremists who can lie away their true motives.

    They hate us, always have and always will. We should just add them to the Axis of Evil and let the chips fall where they may. That, and cut off their foreign aid.

    Trump should hire me as a foreign policy advisor. He'll get a lot of bang for the buck.

    In addition to all my fatiguing cliches, I got more of them than Carter has pills.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'd make a splendid Secretary of State. You'd be following in the wake of Hillary (The Bitch of Benghazi) Clinton and John (Iran Nuke) Kerry. You can only go up from there.

      Delete
    2. I'd accept that Sec. of State gig, except a lot of flying is involved. If I could just make the calls from my couch, I'm in.

      And yes, my predecessors have set that bar awfully low, I would look brilliant without even breathing hard.

      Delete
    3. All you'd need to do is be able to fog a mirror to improve on them.

      Delete
  3. The Chinese are waxing large -- they were all over Nairobi the other year and seem to be buying up large swathes of Africa. You know they'll be kind and beneficent overlords to their new subject peoples.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Chinese have bought Africa...ok, the mineral rights, which is the only thing valuable there.

      Delete
  4. LL,

    Don't be naïve. We have to provide foreign aid to Pakistan so they can afford the Chinese fighter planes. DUH.

    It is called internationalism and if you aren't into it you ain't hip and cool and stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not all that cool and hip.

      Delete
  5. Enlightenment does not come to those who will not use their matches...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are waxing so philosophical today! And you're right. Good metaphor.

      Delete
  6. Anybody's presidency should.
    Amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. We could save a lot of money by canceling aid to people who don't like us, only our money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why would we give people who hate us, and constantly work at cross purposes with us? It makes no sense.

      Delete
  8. Trump should take a battle-axe to all the foreign aid programs....

    ReplyDelete

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