CPEC goes global

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IN an epoch-making development, China’s flag-ship initiative ‘One Belt, One Road’ that includes China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has received backing of international community as the UN Security Council, on Friday, adopted a resolution, which mentions the project as part of regional connectivity plans having potential to contribute immensely to regional, global peace and progress. The resolution related to extension of mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) by one year and its text called on countries to ‘strengthen the process of regional economic cooperation, including measures to facilitate regional connectivity, trade and transit including through regional development initiatives such as the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (the Belt and road) Initiative”.
The passage of resolution has rightly been hailed by Liu Jieyi, Chinese Permanent Representative to the UN, as Beijing’s diplomatic victory as the Chinese concept was put into SC resolution for the first time, thus showing consensus of international community on embracing the concept, and manifesting huge Chinese contributions to global governance. It is also a moment of pride for Pakistan that it is the first beneficiary of a revolutionary project that the Chinese leadership has unfolded encompassing projects aimed at connecting five continents of the globe. It is, indeed, a major achievement of the country as projects under the umbrella are in different stages of implementation and with the passage of time more and more are being added to it. The latest development exposes designs and approach of those elements that had been initially opposing the project for personal petty gains ignoring the benefits that would accrue to the country as a whole. It is satisfying that national leadership – both civilian and military – adopted visionary approach and seized the opportunity to take the country on path of accelerated development especially those areas which had been neglected in the past due to various reasons including financial constraints. It is all the more satisfying that despite their primary concern being rail and road linkages to ensure speedy movement of transit goods and people, Chinese are providing huge funding to overcome fundamental challenges of the country in other fields as well like energy, water reservoirs and telecommunication. It is also noteworthy that Pakistan is also actively involved in projects mentioned in the UNSC resolution like CASA-1000 and TAPI besides Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline that India missed due to narrow-minded approach. Global backing raises prospects for investment from other sources as well and these should now be exploited to the optimum.