China and Pakistan have begun a new mega project termed the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This project is regarded as a new hope for a stable future. This project makes business and transportation of goods accessible for Chinese people, and it gives a lot of advantages in terms of technology and infrastructure development. CPEC was declared as a new and innovative venture in the year 2003. This project is a part of China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative and was inaugurated by the Chinese government in 2013. This project is focused on the connectivity of different continents like Europe, Africa, and Asia.
This project is considered the largest project between two immediate neighbors, Pakistan and China. CPEC is not a single project, but it is a nexus of a huge number of developmental projects. Pakistan is a developing country that encounters many obstacles like increased taxes, lack of resources, foreign debts, political leader corruption, and economic crisis. These problems have incentivized government officials. The government of Pakistan is attempting to fix the current situation by utilizing native resources. Pakistan’s economic situation was not steady earlier, and that is why policymakers and technocrats have suggested the government authorities encourage collaboration with various neighboring countries. Other countries with reliable investment plans can be determined as the right investment partners for Pakistan.
China Pakistan Economic Corridor consists of multi developmental projects predicted as the prospects for Pakistan and China’s success. The Chinese government has conceptualized CPEC as a dream of prosperity, and Pakistan is growing this dream as a hopeful future. The educational reforms, infrastructure development, revenue generation, and technological advancements have developed the local community’s lifestyle. This friendship is getting more powerful day by day. The development of the economy of Pakistan is due to the honest attempts of China.
How does the world view the strong relationship between Pakistan and China?
As the United States withdraws from Afghanistan and takes a more assertive strategy in its geostrategic rivalry with China, China’s role and impact in countries like Pakistan must be assessed with nuance. First, it would be helpful for the strategic community in Washington to consider the limitations of the United States’ influence on Pakistan in order to understand better where and how China may be able to use its advantage to influence Islamabad’s preferences.
Second, Washington must realize that its interests overlap with those of Beijing when it comes to Pakistan. Key among these interests is the fact that a socially and economically uncertain Pakistan will not only be incapable of repaying Chinese debt, it will also become an increasingly disruptive force in the region, creating national security risks for both China and the United States.
It is essential for Islamabad to know that succeeding in its geo-economic pivot requires pursuing meaningful reforms that improve Pakistan’s overall economic outlook. It is only by making hard choices that Pakistan can bring additional flows of capital that its economic requirements improve and achieve higher growth rates. The country will soon find that even China is reluctant to continue bailing out strategically.
CPEC has implications for U.S. interests. The United States does not necessarily need to worry about economic development in Pakistan. The United States should welcome them if they are economically viable and contribute to Pakistan’s economic growth and political stability. Because Pakistan has access to another source of largely unconditional support, the ability of the United States to lead Pakistan’s reliance on regional issues and counterterrorism is decreased.
Pakistan plans to increase tea plantation through CPEC:
CPEC is the first large-scale attempt to reinforce economic relations between Beijing and Islamabad after decades of strong diplomatic and military ties. CPEC is a long 15 year plan scheduled to complete in 2030 that will start to approach Pakistan’s energy and infrastructure requirements soon.
Pakistan and tea plantation with the help of CPEC:
According to the Gwadar Pro quoting experts report, China has a significant part in supporting Pakistan’s tea industry, as potentially suitable places and land for tea cultivation are located alongside the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Pakistan has classified 64,000 hectares of the area as suitable for tea cultivation along the CPEC’s route, according to Dr. Abdul Waheed, Director of the National Tea and High-Value Crops Research Institute (NTHRI). While pursuing tea farms on a commercial scale, the government of Pakistan has determined to grow tea on an area of about 25,000 acres over the next 5 years.
Out of the suggested 25,000 acres of land, 10,000 are government-owned forests; 12,000 acres is private land. The Forest Department has planted forests while 3,000 acres of land have been known in Azad Kashmir. During the next stage, the tea plantation would be increased to all tea-cultivable land of the country, according to the government plan.
“This year we are going to approve a project where we are growing tea on an area of 25,000 acres; we are creating history; we plan to complete the proposed tea plantations over the next five years,” stated Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Food Security Jamshed Iqbal Cheema during his visit to the National Tea and High-Value Crops Research Institute (NTHRI) at Shinkiari, Mansehra.
On the advice of Chinese tea experts, the National Tea Research Institute (NTRI), later renamed as NTHRI, was set up on 50 acres of land in Shinkiari in 1986. NTHRI is playing a significant role in supporting tea cultivation in the country.
“If we grow tea on 64,000 hectares of land, Pakistan will not only be self-sufficient in tea but will also export tea products to other countries,” stated Dr Abdul Waheed.
According to Cheema, Pakistan has great potential for growing tea, as the country has 178,000 acres of cultivable tea land. “Pakistan can grow its own tea,” he said, adding that the country imported 30 million tonnes of tea each year from 15 different tea-producing countries.
Some farmers have already started tea plantation at different acreage but mostly meagre percentage as the market requirement for green tea leaf from farmers is little. No supervisory or management agency is involved in promoting tea plantations by farmers. Thus, the progress so far is plodding.
While encouraging private tea companies to invest in the tea sector, Cheema said, “We are ready to facilitate and solve any problems of the private companies regarding their investment.” The government is allowing private companies to invest and promote the tea trade, creating thousands of jobs for the locals. The Ministry of Food Security has allotted a Rs. 8.5 billion budget for high-value crops and cluster development.
According to authorities, China, from the start, has played a significant role in tea promotion in Pakistan. As potential suitable sites and land for tea cultivation are found alongside the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), China has a significant role in promoting tea commercially through joint ventures and technical and financial support.
Support for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Chinese investment in Pakistan is almost unanimous. However, the country’s political parties and regions have been deeply split on equal distribution of and control over CPEC projects.