Transformations in Pakistan’s Political Economy and CPEC

May 6, 2024


Dr. Matthew McCartney,

Transformations in Pakistan’s Political Economy and CPEC

The session began with the Director of CPPG, Dr. Saeed Shafqat, providing a context for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) within the larger US-China geopolitical rivalry spanning technology, economy, culture, and cyber activities. He then asked Professor McCartney about the potential ramifications of the BRI, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) for Pakistan. McCartney commenced the discussion by emphasizing his interest in the economic dimensions of CPEC. He underscored CPEC’s pivotal role within the broader framework of the BRI, its geographical significance, and the economic impact of the western and eastern routes on Pakistan’s regions. He expressed that CPEC promised to be a pathway of regional connectivity that will benefit China and Pakistan and positively impact Iran, Afghanistan, India, the Central Asian republics, and the region. Underscoring the significance of CPEC, he said that the project’s aim is to enhance geographical linkages, focusing on an improved transportation system and promoting people-to-people contact through academic, cultural, and knowledge activities. He added that Pakistan’s regional and global position is also likely to see a strong boost with the positive conclusion of CPEC. The success of CPEC is also crucial for the geopolitics of South Asia as strengthened Sino-Pak relationship may trigger concerns for India.