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Strategic Pak-China Economic Corridor, Connectivity and Maritime Cooperation

China's new Prime Minister Mr. Li KeQiang has just ended a two-day visit to Pakistan. Speaking to the Senate, Li declared that "the development of China cannot be separated from the friendship with Pakistan". To make it more concrete, the Chinese Premier brought with him a 5-points proposal which emphasizes "strategic and long-term planning", "connectivity and maritime sectors" and "China-Pakistan economic corridor project".

Source: China Daily

From L to R: Premier Lee, President Zardari and Prime Minister Khoso

Here's a recent report by  China's State-owned Xinhua News Agency that can help put the Chinese premier's speech in context:

“As a global economic power, China has a tremendous number of economic sea lanes to protect. China is justified to develop its military capabilities to safeguard its sovereignty and protect its vast interests around the world."

The Xinhua report has for the first time shed light on China's growing concerns with US pivot to Asia which could threaten China's international trade and its economic lifeline of energy and other natural resources it needs to sustain and grow its economy. This concern has been further reinforced by the following:

1. Frequent US statements to "check" China's rise.  For example, former US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a 2011 address to the Naval Postgraduate School in California: "We try everything we can to cooperate with these rising powers and to work with them, but to make sure at the same time that they do not threaten stability in the world, to be able to project our power, to be able to say to the world that we continue to be a force to be reckoned with." He added that "we continue to confront rising powers in the world - China, India, Brazil, Russia, countries that we need to cooperate with. We need to hopefully work with. But in the end, we also need to make sure do not threaten the stability of the world."

Source: The Guardian

2. Chinese strategists see a long chain of islands from Japan in the north, all the way down to Australia, all United States allies, all potential controlling chokepoints that could  block Chinese sea lanes and cripple its economy, business and industry.

Karakoram Highway-World's Highest Paved International Road at 15000 ft.

Chinese Premier's emphasis on "connectivity and maritime sectors" and "China-Pakistan economic corridor project" is mainly driven by their paranoia about the US intentions to "check China's rise" It is intended to establish greater maritime presence at Gwadar, located close to the strategic Strait of Hormuz, and  to build land routes (motorways, rail links, pipelines)  from the Persian Gulf through Pakistan to Western China. This is China's insurance to continue trade with West Asia and the Middle East in case of hostilities with the United States and its allies in Asia.

Pakistan's Gawadar Port- located 400 Km from the Strait of Hormuz

As to the benefits for Pakistanis, the Chinese investment in "connectivity and maritime sectors" and "China-Pakistan economic corridor project" will help build infrastructure, stimulate Pakistan's economy and create millions of badly needed jobs.

Clearly, China-Pakistan ties have now become much more strategic than the US-Pakistan ties, particularly since 2011 because, as American Journalist Mark Mazzetti of New York Times put it, the  Obama administration's heavy handed policies "turned Pakistan against the United States". A similar view is offered by a former State Department official Vali Nasr in his book "The Dispensable Nation".

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Comment by Riaz Haq on May 23, 2013 at 7:03pm

Here's Xinhua report on Pak-China joint statement:

The statement said both sides are satisfied with their relationship, which contributed to peace and stability in the region and acquired growing strategic significance under the current complex and volatile regional and international situation.

To cement their partnership, the two countries decided to deepen practical cooperation in all sectors and strengthen coordination and cooperation on international and regional issues.

China reaffirmed that its relationship with Pakistan is always a priority in its foreign policy and appreciates Pakistan's long-term staunch support on issues concerning China's core interests.

Pakistan said it will continue to pursue this time-tested and all-weather friendship with China.

The two sides regard the terrorist East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) group as a common threat, and stand united in upholding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, the statement said.

On economic front, the two nations agreed to link China's strategy to develop its western region with Pakistan's domestic economic development, with a view to translate their political partnership into results of pragmatic economic cooperation.

The two sides have also agreed to carry forward free trade negotiations, deepen energy cooperation, and continue the implementation of currency-swap agreement, among others.

To tap the potential of trade, logistics and flow of personnel between the two sides, China and Pakistan have agreed to enhance interconnectivity and jointly develop a long-term plan for China-Pakistan economic corridor.

To strengthen maritime cooperation, China and Pakistan agreed to build and develop a joint marine research center to tackle the growing non-traditional threats to maritime security and safeguard international sea routes.

On aviation and aerospace, the two sides welcomed the signing of an agreement on cooperation on the Beidou Satellite Navigation System in Pakistan and vowed to make continuous progress in the remote-sensing satellite system project.

To build strong public support for China-Pakistan ties, the two sides agreed on a series of measures to step up people-to-people exchanges, including expanding Chinese language training in Pakistan, opening more Confucius Institutes in the country, and designating 2015 as China-Pakistan Year of Friendly Exchanges.

On defense and security ties, the two sides agreed to further cooperate on defense technology and production, and continue cooperation to jointly combat the "three evil forces" of extremism, terrorism and separatism. China also expressed its appreciation and continued willingness to help Pakistan build up counter-terrorism capacity.

On international and regional affairs, China and Pakistan agreed that all countries in the Asia-Pacific region should make united efforts to tackle global and regional issues, maintain peace and stability, resolve disputes peacefully and promote regional development.

The two sides called for the establishment of an open, transparent, equal and inclusive security and cooperation framework in the Asia-Pacific region, based on the fundamental principles of international law.

The two nations also said they are committed to strengthening the solidarity and cooperation between developing countries and safeguarding their common interests.

As both sides are concerned about the situation in Afghanistan, they agreed that political reconciliation is a key step toward peace and stability in that country, and affirmed their support for the "Afghan-owned, Afghan-led" peace and reconciliation process.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-05/24/c_124755957.htm

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 24, 2013 at 9:35pm

Here's a BBC report on Chinese state media coverage of Premier Li's Pakistan visit:

State media promote Chinese premier Li Keqiang visit to "iron brother" and "all-weather friend" Pakistan, while speculation continues on a North Korean special envoy's visit to Beijing amid a recent rift.

People's Daily Online and other party-state media continue to highlight an unchanged "all-weather friendship and strategic partnership" with Pakistan.

Mr Li, who is now in Switzerland, spent three days in New Delhi and Mumbai as the first stop of his visit, followed by two days in Islamabad.

China Daily, a state newspaper aimed at a foreign readership, features commentaries on Pakistan's warm welcome to Mr Li surpassing scorching 40-degree temperatures in Islamabad, and how the "unbreakable friendship" between the two countries is "not just effusive words".

China Central Television and Southern Metropolis Daily lead with how Pakistani lawmakers rapped their tables 14 times in "strong endorsement" of Mr Li's speech, "let all-weather friendship bear new fruit", at the parliament yesterday.

"If you love China, love Pakistan too," Mr Li declared to the lawmakers.

Experts stress to China Daily how Beijing's increased investment in energy and infrastructure, construction of an "economic corridor" and lower agreed tariffs on Chinese imports will help resolve a massive trade imbalance with Pakistan.

JF-17 Thunder fighter jets jointly developed by Pakistan and China are attracting interest from many countries in the Middle East, Africa and South America, a Pakistan air force officer also tells China Daily.

Six of the fighter jets escorted Mr Li's plane as it entered Pakistani airspace on Tuesday.

Xinhua news agency emphasises Pakistan's pledge in a joint statement of continued co-operation with China against "terrorism, separatism and extremism" and the "East Turkestan Islamic Movement", a group outlawed as a terrorist organisation by Beijing.

In other security-related news, China Daily says the government is soliciting public views on a draft law banning fundraising for "terrorists"....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-22650591

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 27, 2013 at 10:38am

It was Kissinger who said "Nations Don't Have Friends, They Have Interests".

Both US and China have interests in South and West Asia.

China wants to build a Pak-China economic corridor through Pakistan from Gwadar to Xinjiang to assure its energy supplies in the events of hostilities with the US and resulting naval blockade in South China Sea.

As part of President Obama's "pivot to Asia" to check China's rise, the Americans have a strong competing interest in creating a new silk route in Asia that bypasses China. Americans envision such land route extending from resource rich Stans in Central Asia to resource hungry South Asia and Southeast Asia region via Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The expected energy flow for energy-hungry Pakistan and the potential annual transit fees worth billions of dollars from this trade route are part of the US sponsored incentives for Pakistan to help stabilize the situation in Afghanistan. The first example of this effort is the American push for TAPI--Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline.

Alliances are based on interests and change with changing interests.

With the changing geo-politics, it seems to me that China's interests are likely to be more aligned with Pakistan's than the US interests.

Pakistanis need to be prepared to respond to the unfolding dynamics of geopolitics in the region and do what best serves their national interest.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2013/05/how-strategic-are-pakistan-china-tie...

http://www.riazhaq.com/2012/11/impact-of-obamas-re-election-on-pak-...

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 27, 2013 at 6:09pm

China emerged as the largest donor to Pakistan by disbursing $493.77 million in the first 10 months of FY 2012-13. Here's a BR report on foreign assistance received by Pakistan:

Pakistan has received foreign assistance of over $294 million in the month of April of the current fiscal year including $163.7 million from bilateral donors and $131.2 million from multilateral donors. According to the documents available with Business Recorder, the country received foreign assistance of $2.23 billion in the first 10 months (July-April) of the current fiscal year.

During this period, China remained the largest donor to Pakistan by disbursing $493.77 million. The country had estimated foreign assistance for the current fiscal years at $3.73 billion including $3.27 billion loan and $463.97 million grant from multilateral and bilateral donors.

China has emerged as the largest loan donor with disbursement of $77.44 million, UK second with $58.21 million and Asian Development Bank (ADB) with $44.26 million in the month of April. However, International Development Association (IDA) emerged as the second largest loan provider: it released $322.56 million, while the ADB was third with $321.34 million from July to April. Of the total $3.27 billion loan component estimated for the current fiscal year, Pakistan received $1.89 billion, while of the $463.9 million grant component; it received $340.14 million during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year.

Japan released $215.42 million, IDB [S-Term] $256 million while USA disbursed $78.4 million from July 2012 to April 30, 2013. In the month of April, Japan released $1.55 million, Saudi Arabia $14.16 million and USA $8.02 million. For the current year, it was estimated that Pakistan would receive $82.7 million from UK under the head of grant, however it exceeded the estimated target as $189.19 million was received so far under the head during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year with only $58.21 million in the month of April.

The country has not received any amount from Turkey, Australia and UNDP under the head of grant or loan till April 30, 2013. The government has estimated a total of $2.16 billion under project aid including loans of $1.8 billion and grants of $339.3 million; however it received $1.78 billion during first 10 months of the current year including 258.6 million in April. Further it was expecting $1.6 billion for non-project aid including $1.4 billion loans and $124.6 million grants; however by the end of April the government received $454.42 million including $36.29 million in April.

http://www.brecorder.com/top-stories/0/1190040/

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 29, 2013 at 9:26pm

EXIM Bank China to provide $ 448 mln for 969 MW Neelum Jhelum project, reports APP:

ISLAMABAD, May 29 (APP): The EXIM Bank of China has signed an agreement with the Government of Pakistan to provide US $ 448 million for 969 MW-Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project.An official sources told APP that the agreement was a significant development in the efforts to secure requisite financial resources for the remaining works of under-construction Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project.Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project is being constructed on River Neelum in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. They said that in addition to generating much-needed low-cost hydel electricity to help mitigate power shortages in the country, the project is also equally important for Pakistan to establish priority water rights. In view of its significance, WAPDA is making all possible efforts to complete Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project by 2016 according to its construction schedule, they said.
The sources said construction work on all sites of the project was progressing satisfactorily. Out of total 67-kilometre (km) tunnels, 34.24 km long tunnels (51 percent) had so far been excavated, while excavation of under-ground power house stood at 75.24 percent and transformers hall at 96.33 percent.
They said 95 percent work on de-sander of the project had also completed while Nauseri Bridge over River Neelum was also constructed. Second stage diversion of the River Neelum had also been completed.
It is pertinent to mention that Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project, on completion, will contribute 5.15 billion units of cheap electricity every year to the National Grid. Annual benefits of the project have been estimated at about Rs. 45 billion.

http://www.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=vie...

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 21, 2013 at 10:06pm

Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif on Friday stressed establishing state of the art railway tracks and expressway to connect China with Pakistan through Khunjrab, Gwadar and Karachi, which he said, will usher in a new era of economic prosperity for both countries and the entire region. “Projects to benefit maximum number of population of the region will be pursued that will enhance economic activities, provide jobs and change the destiny of millions,” observed Sharif in a meeting held at the PM’s office. Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal briefed the meeting on projects that were underway and areas for future projects with the Chinese government, including railway network, energy sector and road networks. The PM said he had held in-depth discussions on the proposed projects with the Chinese premier, during his recent visit to Pakistan and was happy to note that the Chinese government was equally interested in the project. “We want concrete projects and tangible results to benefit the people of Pakistan and China,” added the premier. He further said the project was in the greater interest of China as it will reduce distance inside the Chinese territory thus resulting in reduction of cost of transportation and giving access to Chinese trade with India, central Asia and the whole region. Sharif highlighted that the future belonged to this region due to its huge potential, thick population and massive business opportunities. He directed the Ministry of Railways to submit solid proposals for building new railway tracks to facilitate fast moving trains for passenger and cargo services, before a delegation leaves for China in a couple of days. He, however, asked for “out of the box” thinking and doable projects to be identified that could benefit maximum number of people. The PM proposed to work on Havelian-Ratodero-Gwadar-Karachi-Quetta and Havelian-Islamabad-Lahore railway track and expressways that would substantially enhance trade activities and open this region to China and the world. He also directed the planning and development division for identification of economic zones alongside the proposed railway and expressway. The PM underlined the importance of special economic zones and converting Gwadar into an international city and economic hub to bring prosperity for the people of Balochistan and the country. He said missing links in existing roads and railway tracks must be built but the need of the day is to establish new linkages to connect China with Pakistan and give access for Chinese trade to India, central Asia etc. Minister for Information Broadcasting and National Heritage Pervaiz Rashid, Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq, secretaries for railways, communication, EAD, CDA chairman and other senior officials were also present in the briefing. - See more at: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/06/22/news/profit/pak-china-ro...

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 5, 2013 at 9:21pm

Here's a News report on Pak-China accords signed during Nawaz Sharif's visit:

The China Overseas Port Holding Company has offered to build an international-level airport as well as access roads in Gwadar, the site of the deep sea port on the Arabian Sea coastline in Balochistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told The News after a meeting with the head of the Chinese firm.

Sources in the prime minister’s entourage said the Chinese premier during talks with the Pakistani prime minister agreed to waive off insurance premium worth millions of dollars on sovereign guarantees related to bilateral contracts.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said in an interview with the state-run television that an understanding has been reached with the Chinese for a planned Lahore-Karachi motorway project, terming the development a major achievement.

A feasibility study on the cross-country motorway project will be completed soon and followed up with concrete steps to start the work on its construction, the prime minister told the state-run television.

One of the accords inked in the presence of the two prime ministers envisages the establishment of an Economic Corridor between Gwadar and the historic Silk Road city in western region Xinjiang region of China, connected to Gilgit-Baltistan through the 15,397 feet altitude Khunjerab Pass.

The ambitious Pakistan-China Economic Corridor plan involves an estimated cost of 18 billion dollars, requiring construction of a string of tunnels in the mountainous terrain.Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal and Chairman National Development and Reforms Commission of China Xu Shao signed the corridor accord, which the Chinese premier said was a project of strategic value. The two sides also concluded an agreement on the Economic and Technical Cooperation, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi signing it with a senior Chinese official.

Besides cooperation in delegation by Pakistan’s prime minister.As both leaders reached the welcome dais, a contingent of People’s Liberation Army played national anthems of both the countries.

Following the welcome ceremony, both the dignitaries held bilateral talks.Briefing the media, Premier Li said he clearly remembered his visit to Pakistan in May the Prime Minister-in-waiting Nawaz Sharif participated in his meetings with the then leaders of Pakistan.

Premier Li greatly appreciated Nawaz Sharif’s warmth and deep affection for the people of China.

Nawaz Sharif thanked Premier Li for his remarks and said what he has been observing here during his visit to China, substantiates the fact that “our friendship is higher than the Himalayas and deeper than the oceans and sweeter than honey.”

Nawaz Sharif thanked the Chinese Premier for the hospitality extended to him and his entourage.

He recalled his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping held on Thursday and said, “He was very kind to invite us. We exchanged similar views last night as well.”

Nawaz Sharif also thanked Premier Li for inviting him to visit China and added that he felt proud to visit China as my maiden foreign visit after assuming office.

Meanwhile, talking to state-run television, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered completion of Lahore-Karachi Motorway within two and half years after finalising the feasibility study of the project in three months.

After an MoU signing ceremony between Pakistan and China for cooperation to construct Lahore-Karachi Motorway, the prime minister said the government was committed to provide comfortable and affordable transport facilities to its citizens within minimum possible time....

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-23908-Pakistan-China-sign-...

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 7, 2013 at 8:05am

Here's a Bloomberg story on Pak-China deals signed recently:

China and Pakistan signed a deal to build a $44 million fiber-optic cable connecting their border region with the Pakistani military garrison city of Rawalpindi, and agreed to explore a strategic transport corridor.
The pacts were the highlights of talks between Pakistani and Chinese officials in Beijing as visiting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif seeks to secure the investment his new government needs to repair a shattered economy. In a shot in the arm for Sharif, Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund yesterday agreed a $5.3 billion loan to boost the country’s depleted currency reserves.
By choosing Beijing for his first overseas trip since winning May 11 elections, Sharif signaled that securing Chinese funding ranks among his foreign policy priorities. Pakistan’s growing emphasis on ties with China follows years of strained relations with the U.S. amid the war in Afghanistan and American targeting of Pakistani guerrillas.
Meeting Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People in the Chinese capital today, Sharif lauded bilateral ties, telling his host that the two countries’ friendship is “higher than the Himalayas and deeper than the deepest sea in the world, and sweeter than honey.”
Huawei Technologies Co., China’s largest maker of networking equipment, will build the fiber-optic link in three years, project director Waseem Ahmad said, adding that 85 percent of the funding will be provided via Chinese loans. The agreement will give Pakistan more connectivity to international communications networks, Ahmad said. Rawalpindi is home to the headquarters of Pakistan’s army.
Gwadar Pact
An initial pact on a transport corridor to link the western Chinese city of Kashgar with the Pakistani port of Gwadar, control of which was in February transferred to a state-run Chinese company, was also signed today. No details were given on what was described as a “long term” plan.
“China will encourage and support companies to invest in Pakistan and Pakistan will provide a good environment for China’s investment,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a briefing in Beijing today.
While Sharif has called the road-and-rail project a “game changer” capable of generating revenue and jobs for Pakistan, financing and security concerns could prove hurdles. The route would run through Baluchistan province, where anger over exploitation of gas and minerals has spurred a separatist insurgency.
Touted Role
Aside from its touted role as a short cut for Chinese imports of Middle Eastern oil, officials in India and the U.S. have seen Gwadar as part of China’s strategic ambition to project its growing naval power into the Indian Ocean.
Unrest in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang which authorities have in the past linked to Islamist training camps in Pakistan may also be on the agenda for Sharif’s visit which ends on July 8.
Pakistan’s government presented a “very robust reform” agenda to secure the IMF assistance, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said at a briefing with officials from the multilateral lender in Islamabad yesterday. The program of credit needs approval from the IMF board, Pakistan mission head Jeffrey Franks said.
A plunge of about 40 percent in the reserves in the past year to $6 billion has left Pakistan with enough to cover only about two months of imports, central bank data shows. The slide has weighed on the rupee and adds to other challenges facing Sharif, which include energy shortages and a Taliban insurgency in the northwest. The currency touched a record low this week.

http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-05/huawei-to-build-china-p...

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 7, 2013 at 9:37am

Here's a AFP report on planned oil pipeline from Persian Gulf to Western China through Pakistan:

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led government has decided to offer China to lay oil pipeline from Gwadar to Western China - a move that will allow the latter to diversify and safeguard its crude oil import routes, sources said.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would make a formal offer to his Chinese counterpart during his current visit to China. The government is expected to sign within a month an operational agreement with China to hand over Gwadar Port to a Chinese company.
Officials said Pak-China oil pipeline could later be linked with Iran that had already offered to lay oil pipeline from its territory to Gwadar to transport crude oil. During the PPP era, Iran had also announced to set up oil refinery at Gwadar Port with 400,000 barrels per day oil production capacity.
“So, this proposal may become feasible after Chinese company takes operational control of Gwadar Port,” official said adding that Gwadar Port is quite near to Persian Gulf through which nearly 40% of world’s oil supply flow is maintained.
Officials maintained that 50% of total oil demand of China is met from imports that come from Middle East. At present supply line to China runs over 10,000km Dubai-Shanghai-Urumqi ocean route.
“The crude oil processed and refined at Gwadar Oil Refinery can be exported and transported to Urumqi through the shortest possible route to China via Dubai-Gwadar-Urumqi which is about 3,600km. For this a oil pipeline will be laid through the envisaged Energy Corridor up to Western China via KKH/Khunjrab bypass,” officials said.
They said that impediments like high altitude, freezing temperature and difficult terrain could be overcome through certain technological advancements since many countries had successfully completed such pipeline projects under extreme conditions and high altitude such as ATACAMA gas pipeline, Trans-Alkaska Pipeline, Trans-Asia Gas pipeline etc.
Meanwhile, in a related development, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has succeeded in persuading Dong Fong Electricity Company of China to resume work on Nandipur power project.
In this connection, a lengthy meeting was held between Chief Minister Shahbaz, Dong Fong Electricity Company Chairman Si Zefu and senior officials of the company in Beijing in which the Dong Fong Electricity Company expressed willingness to restart work on the Nandipur power project.
The company has also directed its engineers to reach Pakistan next Monday for this purpose.
The Nandipur power project would generate 450 megawatts of electricity.
It is noteworthy that due to the undue delay by the PPP government, the Chinese experts had returned to their country, while the machinery for the project worth millions of rupees is rusting at the Karachi port.
Chief Minister Shahbaz has been strongly criticising the federal government over non-implementation of the project. Dong Fong Electricity Company Chairman Si Zefu said that during a meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari in June 2011 he had told him that injustice was being done by delaying the project as it would cause heavy losses to both the sides.
The chief minister assured the Chinese authorities that they would find the present government completely transparent and determined.
Expressing his views during his meetings with the Chinese investors in Beijing, the chief minister said that Pakistan has a bright future and there are vast opportunities of investment in the country.
He said that the existing problems are temporary and would be overcome soon. Shahbaz Sharif said that he would personally play host to the Chinese investors in Pakistan. He said that priority would be given to joint collaboration and co-operation with Chinese investors in infrastructure and energy sectors.

http://www.gulf-times.com/pakistan/186/details/358604/pakistan-to-o...

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 7, 2013 at 8:42pm

Here's a VOA report on China's growing footprint in Pakistan:

China is one of Pakistan’s largest business partners, and more than 120 Chinese companies are doing business in Pakistan. This is despite the serious security risks Chinese nationals face in Pakistan.

During Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit last month to China, the two countries signed several economic agreements that give Pakistan much-needed foreign investment. China will also benefit, says Derek Scissors of the Heritage Foundation.

"China gains two things. Employment for its workers for a while on these projects and revenue from the projects for the companies. That’s the commercial side. On the political side, Pakistan does need power. It does need a more consistent power supply that will help Pakistan’s economy and social stability," said Scissors.

China is also seeking Pakistan’s cooperation in curbing the militants that China says use Pakistani territory to launch attacks in its restive Xinjiang, or East Turkestan, region.

Aqab Malik is with Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

"I think one of the foremost elements of this agreement is the understanding that Pakistan must combat, as far as China is concerned, the threat that is imposed from the East Turkestan Islamic Movement," said Malik.

Malik also says, in order to sustain long term economic growth, Pakistan must crack down on radicalism and extremism.

"Now [that] it has made economic agreements with China, there has to be some progress towards real counter-radicalization, counter-extremism programs, and there must be an off-the-fence, direct, stated goal that they are going to confront it. but actually implement it also," he said.

Anti-U.S. sentiments are high in Pakistan, and many see China as a counterweight to the United States as a trading partner. But relying too heavily on any one country may not be a good option for Pakistan. Derek Scissors:

"Diversification is good. It applies to the United States for Pakistan and it also applies to China. Being too heavily dependent on China would be a mistake," he said.

China-Pakistan bilateral trade was over $12 billion last year, and the leaders of the two countries have promised to increase it in years to come.

http://www.voanews.com/content/chinese-economic-footprint-in-pakist...

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