11:14 pm - Tuesday March 19, 2019

Gwadar port ships off first CPEC cargo : Danger Bells Ring For India on CPEC and if Trump takes USA into an Isolation Mode

 Gwadar port ships off first CPEC cargo : Danger Bells Ring For India on CPEC and if Trump takes USA into an Isolation Mode
                                                                     Rajiv Upadhyay RKU
The first ship from Gwadar port was flagged off by PM Nawaj Sharif but with General Raheel Sharif stealing  the lime light undeservedly. Pakistan is unique in its army chief does not acknowledges the Prime Minister by a salute . Yet it muddles through .If it was a pure commercial venture like Suez canal whole world would have welcomed it . But is Gwadar is a  Suez canal ?
However it is quite clear that Gwadar / CPEC  is not a commercial transportation project . The cost of transporting oil by ship from Saudi Arabia to Shanghai is one fourth  to one fifth of land route via Gwadar . The reduction in transit tme is of no significance in trade but for very expensive items like jewelry or perishables like flowers etc . So a road or pipeline or rail route is not an economic proposition but a strategic one .cpec-routes
Ostensibly CPEC will be a great development vehicle for Pakistan . Out of $46 11 billion are for infrastructure development in which Pakistan  will pay fifty percent of the cost rest will be loan from China . The balance 35 billion dollar will be invested by Chinese private sector which mandatorily get 19 – 26 % return ( not public yet ) . No where in the world commercial investment is done at this guaranteed returns . Entire Indian Railway was constructed by British at 5.5 % guaranteed returns . Pakistan will go bankrupt in paying back for CPEC. Moreover it proposes to se up 10500MW coal based power plants but coal will have to be imported by Pakistan . China is phasing out coal based power plants due to pollution problems but is exporting them to Pakistan .
CPEC will be another East India Company for Pakistan and it can forget being a sovereign nation after 2025 as it starts paying back for power projects . In comparison USA, in last sixty years , has given massive aid and is still hated in Pakistan .
 Development of Wesern provinces is only a dream at present for China . There is no concrete plan . Central Asian countries do not have much trading power and are only an excuse today for CPEC .But China has been able to  get  a naval base at Gwadar and can disturb the oil supply to Western nations or more important for India, Japan etc .  In case there is a war in South China Sea or over Taiwan or even in Arunanchal Pradesh Chinese are securing their oil supply from blockade in Malacca Straits . It can in a remote possibility fight a war in middle east with its troops getting direct land access to Iran , Afghanistan etc . It has got a land access now in POK and its troops can fight with Pakistanis from POK also. Similarly it will get a base in Sindh barely hundred Kms from Indian border . Thus China can attack India from all sides . It has got a pearl of string project encircling India with naval bases in Bangladesh , Sri Lanka , Burma etc. India responded by joining USA , Japan , Australia , Vietnam , Mongolia ( got a listening post ) , Seychelles .( see string of pearl map )string-of-pearls-china-cpec
But China’s economic might is much bigger . It is enticing Iran , Russia to join CPEC .It has offered a 26 billion dollar project to Bangladesh . It is making similar offers to Nepal , Sri Lanka etc . India cannot match Chinese economic might .
India has no option but to grow at ten percent from its present 7 % annual growth rate . It must be a match to Chinese economy by 2030 when US economy may wane .
If USA gives up its ‘ exceptionalism ‘ and  global policing ambition under Trump  , it can leave SE Asia and South China sea to local countries . In that case Russia , Chinna Pakistan will emerge as a new  axis because CHINA IS MORE USEFUL TO RUSSIA . We have signed accords like Paris in a hurry to keep Obama in good humour . Pakistan does much better bargaining than us  .
It will  now depend on Trump  whether he will try maintain US Supremacy or will persue US withdrawl from Asia .
In short India’s woes have just begun with the first ship being launched from Gwadar .
PM Nawaz and Gen Raheel visit Gwadar port during the launch of the first CPEC shipment. PHOTO: APP
PM Nawaz and Gen Raheel visit Gwadar port during the launch of the first CPEC shipment. PHOTO: APP
GWADAR: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday launched from Gwadar port the first shipment of trade goods to arrive from China via the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), officially kicking off trade activity at the harbour and across the multibillion-dollar road network.
“Today we have gathered to witness the dream of CPEC turning into a reality, further strengthening bilateral ties between China and Pakistan which have stood the test of time, he said while addressing the launch ceremony of the first mega pilot trade cargo, attended by the three services chiefs, joint chiefs of staff committee chairman, Balochistan chief minister, members of the federal cabinet, Chinese dignitaries, a number of envoys and others.
Terming the arrival of the trade convoy from Kashghar to Gwadar a ‘watershed event’, the premier said “CPEC, conceived by the leadership of China and Pakistan, has materialised, bringing a dawn of immense trade and commerce opportunities for the whole region.”
Premier Nawaz said Pakistan is a proud partner of China and assured that his government would leave no stone unturned to complete all development projects under the aegis of CPEC on time. He lauded the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “vision of shared regional prosperity which  coincides with Pakistan’s vision of development of 2020” and called it “the need of the hour in a conflict-ridden and increasing polarised world.”
“CPEC is the fusion of President Xi’s concept of ‘one belt and one road’ project which integrates trade activities of various regional countries through enhanced connectivity, thus transforming Pakistan into a major hub of commerce,” he added.
Premier Nawaz said Pakistan enjoys a unique geostrategic location at the crossroads of three major engines of growth – South Asia, China and Central Asia – and by serving as a major trade hub, would change the fate of region’s three billion people. He reiterated that CPEC would open a world of opportunities for China, Pakistan and the region. Terming Gwadar port the ‘jewel in the CPEC crown’, he expressed confidence that due to its prime geostrategic location, it would play a pivotal role in future trade and cargo activities.
Premier Nawaz said the vision of sustained development must reach to those ‘mired in poverty and backwardness’. “In this regard, CPEC will provide benefits to all under-developed areas of Pakistan, including Balochistan, K-P, Fata, AJK and G-B,” he said, assuring that no area of the country would be deprived of the fruits of prosperity from various CPEC schemes. Stressing that CPEC is a national programme, Premier Nawaz called the enemies of the mega project the enemies of Pakistan and China.
He lauded the services of FWO for operationalising Gwadar port by laying three major road networks through the rough and difficult terrains of the province. He paid tribute to the brave 40 FWO men who laid down their lives in the construction of the road projects. The prime minister also commended the personal support and indulgence of army chief Gen Raheel Sharif and Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri for executing the development projects.
Balochistan CM Sanaullah Zehri termed the event a landmark development and commended both the prime minister and army chef for their dedication. He expressed hope that massive development projects would lead to socio-economic uplift of the area.
FWO Director General Maj-Gen Muhammad Afzal said it was the legacy of Gen Raheel, who initiated Operation Zarb-e-Azb, making possible the commencement of the mega project. He said the armed forces personnel had rendered countless sacrifices to realise the CPEC dream. He added that Premier Nawaz’s patronage was also vital for the realisation of the project.
Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong conveyed the warm felicitations on behalf of the Chinese government to the Pakistani nation and the government and said “it is a significant development as for the first time, a trade convoy has passed through the western route to the south and north of the country, showing the greater connectivity.”
“It proves the capacity of the port to handle the shipment of the trade cargo to international destinations,” he added.
PM condemns attack
Referring to the grisly terrorist attack at the Shah Noorani shrine, Nawaz said his thoughts and sympathies were with the families of the victims. “Such cowardly attacks cannot weaken our determination to completely eliminate the menace of terrorism,” he said, adding that Operation Zarb-e-Azb had broken the back of terrorists with countless sacrifices by the personnel of armed forces.
“We will not rest till Pakistan is brought back to the Quaid’s vision where all people, irrespective of their religion, race or ethnicity, lived in harmony,” the premier vowed. (WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY OUR CORRESPONDENT IN QUETTA)
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