The Pakistani community in Britain was shocked to read the details revealed by the Dawn newspaper about the implications of the Chinese funded mega CPEC project in their homeland….reports Asian Lite News
The Dawn, Pakistan’s leading English language daily, in an exclusive report disclosed that the multi-billion CPEC project will uproot several communities and their culture across Pakistan. Besides the Chinese goods, especially textiles and cheap industrial products, the project envisages experimentation of Chinese farm products in Pakistan.
The report was revealed when Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif preparing to approve the Long Term Plan for the CPEC. He has arrived in Beijing on Friday to attend the One Belt, One Road summit. The event was attended by 29 countries. Chinese President Xi Jinping opened the summit while India stayed away from the event accusing a hidden agenda in the project. The Dawn report justifies India’s apprehensions. India is dead against the CPEC. The $46 billion corridor passes through Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
“The country will pay a heavy price to become a lackey of China,” said Riyaz Ahmed, a Pakistani-origin IT expert in Manchester. “There are many options for Pakistan to raise funds for its own development. By taking the funds from China, makes it vulnerable to the diktats of Communist regime. They are taking over Pak institutions one by one.”
Recently, a Chinese consortium acquires 40 per cent stake in the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) for $85 million. The Chinese consortium comprises three Chinese exchanges — China Financial Futures Exchange Company Limited (lead bidder), Shanghai Stock Exchange and Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Together they will take up 30pc of the strategic stock while two local financial institutions — Pak-China Investment Company Limited and Habib Bank Limited — will pick up 5pc each, the maximum permitted to a single institution under the regulations. The CPEC is also bracketed as a Chinese bid to tighten grip on Pak economy.
The Dawn in their exclusive report disclosed the Chinese intentions and priorities in Pakistan with the backdrop of CPEC which connects China’s Xinjiang region with Pakistan’s Gwadar port in Balochistan. India fears after gaining access to the Arabian Sea through Gwadar, China will find it easy to sail into the Indian Ocean.
The newspaper said thousands of acres of agricultural land will be leased out to Chinese enterprises to set up “demonstration projects” in areas ranging from seed varieties to irrigation technology.
The newspaper said the project is also intended to snoop on people. “A full system of monitoring and surveillance will be built in cities from Peshawar to Karachi, with 24 hour video recordings on roads and busy marketplaces for law and order. A national fibreoptic backbone will be built for the country not only for internet traffic, but also terrestrial distribution of broadcast TV, which will cooperate with Chinese media in the “dissemination of Chinese culture,” the paper said.
“The true culture of Pakistan will be ruined when China floods the market with their programmes,” said Aslam Baker, a teacher at Whythenshaw, Manchester. “I am very much concern about the fate of future generation who will live under the shadow of mighty Chinese dragon.”
Financial experts are saying the Chinese banks are facing crisis over idle funds. The economy is also slowing down. Projects like CPEC will give an essential impetus to the Chinese economy. Most of the projects are being executed by Chinese firms with Chinese workers. Ultimately Pakistan will pay the price with interest for the entire project. So wit will be a Double Victory for China.
The CPEC plan envisages a deep and broad-based penetration of most sectors of Pakistan’s economy as well as its society by Chinese enterprises and culture. Its scope has no precedent in Pakistan’s history in terms of how far it opens up the domestic economy to participation by foreign enterprises. In some areas the plan seeks to build on a market presence already established by Chinese enterprises, eg Haier in household appliances, ChinaMobile and Huawei in telecommunications and China Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC) in mining and minerals.
In other cases, such as textiles and garments, cement and building materials, fertiliser and agricultural technologies (among others) it calls for building the infrastructure and a supporting policy environment to facilitate fresh entry. A key element in this is the creation of industrial parks, or special economic zones, which “must meet specified conditions, including availability of water…perfect infrastructure, sufficient supply of energy and the capacity of self service power”, according to the plan.
The leading English daily is apprehensive about the fall out on the agricultural sector. “The main thrust of the plan actually lies in agriculture, contrary to the image of CPEC as a massive industrial and transport undertaking, involving power plants and highways. The plan acquires its greatest specificity, and lays out the largest number of projects and plans for their facilitation, in agriculture,” the Dawn said.
“For agriculture, the plan outlines an engagement that runs from one end of the supply chain all the way to the other. From provision of seeds and other inputs, like fertiliser, credit and pesticides, Chinese enterprises will also operate their own farms, processing facilities for fruits and vegetables and grain,” the paper said. “Logistics companies will operate a large storage and transportation system for agrarian produce.”
The plan states at the outset that the corridor “spans Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and whole Pakistan in spatial range”. It’s main aim is to connect South Xinjiang with Pakistan. It is divided into a “core area” and what they call the “radiation zones”, those territories that will feel the knock on effects of the work being done in the core area.
The core area includes “Kashgar, Tumshuq, Atushi and Akto of Kizilsu Kirghiz of Xinjiang” from China, and “most of Islamabad’s Capital territory, Punjab, and Sindh, and some areas of Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, and Balochistan” from Pakistan. It has “one belt, three passages, and two axes and five functional zones”, where the belt is “the strip area formed by important arterial traffic in China and Pakistan”.