China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Concerns


As ties between Pakistan and China are at a delicate juncture, Imran Khan concluded a four-day visit to Beijing. In a press release, he said that he discussed a wide range of issues with President Xi Jinping in his meetings with the Chinese leadership. The main reason for the Prime Minister’s visit was to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, but he had the opportunity to engage with attending world leaders and consider various elements of the relationship between Islamabad and Beijing.

An important element of bilateral relations is the China-Pakistan Economic CorridorCPEC has reportedly lost some of its initial paces in recent years, leading to concerns that the project may not be as focused as expected. Several cabinet ministers stated that CPEC matters would constitute a high priority during Mr. Khan’s visit to China in the days leading up to his visit. Reports indicate that the prime minister and his entourage reviewed progress with Chinese officials and that some progress was made to keep things on track.

Both sides have their own national interests to consider when working on the project, and if any reservations or disputes arise, it is best for them to be sorted out in private. Meeting deadlines and completing CPEC projects on time is also dependent upon avoiding red tape and bureaucratic inertia. Despite this, transparency standards have always been upheld. There are real concerns about CPEC, and the state can allay them only by engaging with stakeholders and providing them with an accurate picture of the actual costs, the work done on each project, and the audits performed. There is no other way.

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