I congratulate the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad for taking this initiative to publish a book China Pakistan Economic Corridor: A Game Changer. The book is a great scholarly work, and a valuable addition to highlight various aspects of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
CPEC, a flagship project of China’s “One Belt One Road” (OBOR) initiative, acts as a vital bridge that connects China with Central Asia, the Middle East and South Asia. By linking China with the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf, CPEC will expand trade potential and enhance energy security of the region. It will directly benefit the people inhabiting China, South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. These aspects have been analysed by Mr. Li Xiguang in his article titled “Building a New Civilization along the One Belt One Road.” Similarly, Du Youkang’s analysis of the interplay between CPEC and the OBOR brings out how CPEC fits into the overall concept of OBOR.
I was particularly pleased to note that the eminent scholars contributing to the book have examined CPEC from all perspectives. In this regard, Malik Muhammad Ashraf’s analysis of the Indian factor and Mr. S. M. Hali’s article on “Regional and Global Scenarios of CPEC” make a useful contribution. Pakistan and China both believe that the project is beneficial not only for the two partner countries, but for the entire region. It can be a catalyst for regional connectivity and integration. Other eminent scholars have aptly highlighted this aspect of CPEC.
In a dynamic regional context, CPEC can help the neighbouring countries to connect with each other, ensure energy security and promote peace and stability. It is also well aligned with Pakistan’s “Vision 2025.” CPEC presents a promising way forward for the shared destiny of development and prosperity.
Pakistan and China have deep-rooted historical and cultural links. I find CPEC as a great harbinger of further cultural integration for two good neighbours through the construction of a New Silk Road civilization. The enhanced cultural exchanges and people to people contacts will deepen Sino-Pakistan economic ties. Moreover, it will further strengthen the bonds of fraternity between the two iron brothers. The book has aptly highlighted this aspect of the CPEC.
The role of different Pakistani institutions mentioned in this book like Ministry of Planning, Reforms and Development, Frontier Works Organization (FWO) and all other concerned departments is significant in the successful completion of development and energy projects under CPEC. Similarly, the Gawadar Port carries immense potential in connecting the regional countries in an effective way while ensuring economic and commercial uplift of the region.
It goes without saying that CPEC is the realization of shared destiny for development and prosperity. I am very hopeful that this book will open new avenues of research for scholars, intellectuals and academicians. The professionals and business community can seek promising ideas for promotion of trade and investment under CPEC.
(Sartaj Aziz) Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs