How can CPEC enhance India-Pakistan and India-China Relations? India-Pakistan ties have been severed over decades of animosity between the two nations. Constant ceasefire violations and terrorist attacks have only weakened the India-Pakistan relations. However, with China’s CPEC, a significant project under the BRI initiative, holds the potential to better India-Pakistan ties, built over economic development, according to Chinese State Media.
The CPEC is expected to bring in enormous prosperity for Pakistan. The Pakistan PM stated that the country has already started receiving tremendous benefits from the CPEC infrastructure. Pakistan faced a major energy shortage and the CPEC has greatly added to the national grid with over 10,000 megawatts. However, with the Chinese proposal and persuasion to extend the CPEC Project to India, amid suspicious India-Pakistan and India-China ties, New Delhi is concerned and vigilant.
Will India-Pakistan ties improve with economic co-operation?
The main objective of the CPEC is to improve economic co-operation. Although it is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, India too will reap its benefits. However, India has raised concerns about the expanding influence of China over the South Asian nations and it may be time to evaluate the consequences. The CPEC in itself is not targeted against India but the BRI initiative as a whole is only proof of China’s growing extent.
As reported in the Global Times:
China has no intention of using the CPEC as strategic leverage against India. On the contrary, the CPEC is likely to help promote reconciliation between India and Pakistan by offering opportunities for economic cooperation.
The recently opened Gwadar Port is another project under the CPEC that has not only improved new trade opportunities for Pakistan and China, but also for India. The port has expanded connectivity and allows all Asian countries the opportunity to maximise trade potentials. Although the India-Pakistan ties are severed, inviting India to join the CPEC may boom further benefits for all.