CPEC: Chinese Colonisation of Pakistan?
A long-term plan document of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has identified the politics and security situation in Pakistan as the biggest risk to the $54-billion project, reports the Dawn newspaper. “There are various factors affecting Pakistani politics, such as competing parties, religion, tribes, terrorists, and Western intervention,” the document notes. “The security situation is the worst in recent years,” it adds. The 231-page CPEC long-term plan document envisages a deep and broad-based penetration of most sectors of Pakistan’s economy as well as its society by Chinese enterprises and culture.
While its main aim is to connect South Xinjiang with Pakistan, the CPEC corridor “spans Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and whole Pakistan in spatial range”. It identifies the strategic Pakistani port of Gwadar “as the direct hinterland connecting Balochistan and Afghanistan”.
According to the Dawn report, the 15-year plan for CPEC will include a full system of monitoring and surveillance 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 Pakistan not only for internet traffic, Dawn reports, but also for terrestrial distribution of broadcast TV, which will cooperate with Chinese media in the “dissemination of Chinese culture”.