Jan 22

Past Event

Changing Dynamics of China-India Relations: CPEC and Prospects for Pakistan

Speaker: Mr. Peng ZhengWu

January 22, 2020

1/22/20 4:00 PM -


On 22nd January 2020, The Centre for Public Policy and Governance at Forman Christian College Lahore launched its recent publication “Changing Dynamics of China-India Relations: CPEC and Prospects for Pakistan” by Dr. Saeed Shafqat and Saba Shahid. Mr. Peng ZhengWu, Deputy Consul General, Chinese Consulate in Lahore was invited as the Chief Guest.

The study evaluates India’s perceptions of the CPEC in light of its intensifying rivalry with Pakistan. It examines the historic evolution of Indo-China relations and how they have managed to build economic relations whilst effectively managing their border disputes; something India and Pakistan can learn from as well. The role of the United States as a key influencer in the region is also given due consideration. The paper argues that the CPEC should be seen as an opportunity for economic, cultural and educational cooperation not as a strategic threat to any state in the region.    
At the launch, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and its impact on the geopolitics and socio-economic relations in South Asia was discussed. India’s skepticism towards the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and specifically the CPEC on the argument that it violates territorial sovereignty was discussed. An alternative to this view was provided where ways in which the CPEC can be seen as a medium for strengthening China-Pakistan relationship were presented. 
The event also brought to light China’s impressive development of trade and commerce while managing ‘territorial disputes’ with India and explained that India and Pakistan too could attempt to pursue similar mechanisms by which their economic interests and territorial/strategic interests are dealt with separately. The development of the people should take precedence over strategic motives. However with respect to the Kashmir issue, upholding the human rights of the Kashmiris is an absolute necessity which demands an immediate de-escalation of violence in the region and a reinstating Article 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution. Even though the primary responsibility for sustaining a cooperative relationship lies on India and Pakistan themselves, it will also prove to be a challenge for China. 
As stated by Dr. Shafqat, China pursues a policy of non-interference in global affairs and India-Pakistan rivalry may compel China to adopt a ‘mediatory’ role to diffuse tensions between the two rivals. Pakistan’s own responsibility lies in building its human capital especially by investing in its health and education sectors. This is a priority that must be pursued with full commitment. Knowledge production, innovation and technology are the new determinants of a country’s development prospects, Pakistan must therefore invest in the intellectual, creative and health development of its labour market.
Mr. Peng ZhengWu, Deputy Consul General, Chinese Consulate in Lahore concluded that the CPEC is one of the most significant initiatives under the BRI and China puts great emphasis on completing the Corridor. He also spoke of the technology transfer taking place through the several projects, and indicated that some of the technology being used in Pakistan was even more advanced than the one employed in Beijing. China pursues a fair game of competitive development and other major countries should do the same. A stable environment is in everyone’s favor.



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