‘Cost of security on Pak corridor concerning China’
China is concerned over the “increasing cost of security” and “potential setbacks” in the development of the $46-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a state-run daily said on Tuesday,
acknowledging that the ambitious project would not be a “plain sailing” for the two countries.
An article in the Global Times said the project – which passes through the PoK – faced risks due to a “complex regional environment”. It also referred to the reported deployment of 14,503 security guards by Pakistan to protect the 7,036 Chinese nationals working on the corridor.
“China may not want to put too much focus on the region. At the very least, it would be unwise to put all its eggs in one basket,” it said, highlighting China’s disquiet over the project, which has also cast a shadow over the India-China ties.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised concerns over the project in his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 meet in Hangzhou on September 4.
The article, however, made no reference to India regarding the project, which connects China’s Xinjiang province to Pakistan’s southwestern Gwadar Port in Balochistan with a maze of rail, road and pipelines.
“The CPEC has long been seen as symbolic to the Sino-Pakistan economic cooperation. It is unlikely that China will change its supportive attitude on the CPEC in the short term, but the increasing cost of security is becoming a big problem in efficiently pushing forward the projects,” the article said.
The daily, which in the past has strongly supported the project, said in the article that it is “unlikely to be plain sailing for China and Pakistan in their attempts to push forward the CPEC due to challenges such as a complex regional environment, and people in the two countries should be prepared for potential setbacks”.