China signs new Military Deal with Pakistan
The Defence Minister of China, Gen Wei Fenghe , held talks with the chief of Pakistan Army, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Noveber 30, 2020.
- Both side discussed their regional security issues.
- They signed an agreement to strengthen the defence cooperation between them.
- They further discussed the matters of mutual interest, regional security and enhanced bilateral defence collaboration.
- A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed to enhance the defence cooperation between the Armies of China and Pakistan.
- They also discussed the on-going projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
- CPEC is a bilateral project between Pakistan and China under the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative. The project seeks to promote the connectivity across Pakistan.
- The project comprise of a network of railways, highways and pipelines accompanied by energy.
- It also comprise of industrial and other infrastructure development projects that links the Western part of China to the Gwadar Port in Pakistan.
- The project will China to access the Middle East and Africa from Gwadar Port thus, would enable China to access the Indian Ocean.
Issues associated with CPEC
CPEC crosses through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Baluchistan. Both of these regions is vulnerable to long-running insurgency, terrorism and other security risks. Further, China is not partnering with local companies and thus will not help Pakistan to provide job opportunities. There is a concern that the project may undermine Pakistan’s sovereignty because its foreign policy, especially its relation with India, may be controlled and dictated by China.
One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative
The project focuses on connectivity and cooperation between multiple countries across Asia, Africa and Europe. The project covers the 78 countries. It was announced in the year 2013. It comprise of the building of roadways, railways, power grids, maritime ports, oil and gas pipelines. It has two parts:
- Silk Road Economic Belt which is a land-based project connecting China with Central Asia, Eastern Europe and Western Europe.
- 21st Century Maritime Silk Road which is sea-based project connecting southern coast of China to the Mediterranean, Africa, South-East Asia and Central Asia.
Why India opposed OBOR-CPEC?
India does not support the project because, the CPEC passes through the Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) region. India consider this against its sovereignty.