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The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been earmarked as a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is described as Chinese President Xi Jinping's signature foreign policy initiative and a grand strategy aimed at restoring China's "rightful'' great-power status in the world. It is a major plank in China's geo-strategic and economic architecture for the region, using Pakistan to secure an exploitative strategic perch in South Asia and the Arabian Sea, overlooking the crucial Persian Gulf, the west coast of India, and the east coast of Africa. Pakistan's economic distress, friction between Islamabad and Washington in recent years, and, its enduring tensions with India, provide Beijing an opportunity to draw Pakistan even closer into its strategic orbit. It is increasingly clear that not only will the CPEC extract a high price from Pakistan in terms of its sovereignty, it will also entail a substantial, if not downright usurious, economic cost. China intends to use Pakistan to hem India in, within the South Asian region and limit its elbow room in the Indian Ocean. The CPEC is viewed in Balochistan as an endeavour to exploit the province's natural resources at the cost of the local people, spurring the insurgency. Elsewhere too, it gives rise to misgivings among the local residents. The opaque nature of the CPEC and its geostrategic underpinnings detract vastly from any economic growth and development that it may deliver.

About the Speaker

Amb. Sujan R. Chinoy is the Director General of the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. A career diplomat of the Indian Foreign Service from 1981-2018, he was last India's Ambassador to Japan. He is an expert on India's defence, security and foreign policy issues, especially relating to China, a country with which he has dealt in various capacities for over two decades, as also India's neighbourhood. He spent four years handling external and internal national security issues at the National Security Council Secretariat. He has served in all the QUAD countries.


About the Chair

Jayadeva Ranade is President of the 'Centre for China Analysis and Strategy'. He retired as Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India in August 2008 and was later appointed a Member of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB). He is a Member of the Core Group on China of the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), Distinguished Fellow of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) and Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS), New Delhi. Mr. Ranade has specialized for over 40 years in analysing developments relating to China, Tibet and East Asia and his foreign assignments include Hong Kong, Beijing and Washington DC. Mr. Ranade is author of the books 'China Unveiled: Insights into Chinese Strategic Thinking', released in January 2013 and 'Xi Jinping's China' and 'Cadres of Tibet' both released in October 2017.

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