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RELATED THEMES CPEC AND THE 21ST CENTURY CONVERGENCE OF CIVILIZATIONS


MULTIPOLARITY

19.01.2017
China
MULTIPOLARITY ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION Pakistan

Andrew Korybk

THE RUSSIA PAKISTAN EQUATION The current century pre


plethora of strategic
A remarkable geopolitical shift has taken place opportunities for Pakist
in this part of the world as the traditional provided that Islamabad
pattern of friends and...
knows how to pluck the
hanging fruit and take t
initiative. The steady
SABENA SIDDIQI 06.01.2017
development of the Chi
Pakistan Economic Corr
ECONOMICS (CPEC) is making the cou
ever more attractive for
variety of international
partners, some of which
traditionally been aligned with Pakistan, and others which are entirely new and unprecedented. No matter w
of the two categories these states fall under, its evident that theyre all interested in taking advantage of thi
game-changing series of infrastructure projects.
CHINAS GLOBALIST AGENDA
Never before has China had a reliable overland trade corridor to the Indian Ocean, and this in turn opens u
wide range of options for the Peoples Republic and its economic partners. Moreover, the eventual complet
Modern China a Creation of Wall Street
CPEC will allow Russia and the landlocked states of Central Asia to more easily conduct commerce with the
broader Indian Ocean Region, thereby leading to the creation of previously uncharted trade routes which w
invigorate each set of partners and prot the irreplaceable transit state of Pakistan. In terms of the bigger p
each crisscrossing network of economic connections in one way or another is expected to pass through Pak
KERRY BOLTON 16.01.2017 by means of CPEC, thereby empowering Islamabad to leverage its crucial geostrategic position in pursuit of
national interests.
The convergence of so many diverse civilizational actors including Europeans, Russians, Turks, Arabs, Iran
Chinese, and Africans in one state is made possible by Beijings One Belt One Road vision of global connec
as manifested through CPEC, and it accordingly allows for Pakistan to mediate over a dialogue of civilization
the 21st century. This is a pivotal role of the utmost importance and highest responsibility, and it has the ver
potential of transforming Pakistan from a regional leader to a hemispheric Great Power within the next dec
This analysis will thus explore the way in which this grand strategy can be actualized, sequentially describin
overall concept, the various civilizational-connectivity channels, and the challenges that Pakistan can expect
face.
Concept
Abstract:
The economic attractiveness of CPEC serves as an irresistible magnet for all sorts of various actors to utilize
infrastructural connectivity in facilitating their trade objectives, whether its enhancing bilateral trade with C
such as the EU, Mideast, and African states may naturally be interested in, or in acquiring a convenient outle
the Indian Ocean such as what Russia and the Central Asian republics desire. The convergence of so many
civilizational forces in Pakistan will propel the South Asian state to worldwide importance by gifting its leade
the impressive potential to serve as the common middle ground between each of them, both literally in term
CPEC connectivity and guratively as it relates to the broader dialogue of civilizations concept.
The latter objective is wholly dependent on the former, meaning that Pakistan is unlikely to bring together a
array of hemispheric interests and actors if the CPEC project isnt completed or is severely undermined afte
fact. Conversely, the completion of CPEC will enable Pakistan to do just that, which thus propels the country
signicance to global heights. The second and largest part of this research will describe the dierent connec
channels that CPEC opens up between Pakistan and the rest of Afro-Eurasia, but at this point a lot more nee
be said about the grand strategy behind this exciting endeavor.
Once CPEC becomes fully operational, Pakistan will unocially become Chinas most important gateway to
rest of the world. Although the Peoples Republic currently engages in a staggering amount of trade with ea
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rest of the world. Although the Peoples Republic currently engages in a staggering amount of trade with ea
GEOPOLITICS its countless partners, the vast majority of this is conducted via maritime routes which traverse the bottlene
chokepoint of the Strait of Malacca and the contentious waters of the South China Sea, both of which are
uncomfortably vulnerable to an American blockade or similar sort of interference in the event of a conict
between the two Great Powers. Its mostly for this reason and due to the foresight of Chinese strategists tha
Beijing decided to pioneer an overland trade route to the Indian Ocean through CPEC, relying on its decade
and all-weather friendship with Pakistan in order to make this a reality.

PAKISTAN'S EXISTENTIALVINDICATION Tangible:


OVER...
Upon completion, CPEC will make Pakistan the most reliable, cost-eective, and fastest route for carrying ou
Pakistan would to embrace its geopolitical
trade with China. Its a much shorter voyage for ships to travel to Gwadar than it is to Guangzhou, and once
destiny as the zipper of pan-Eurasian are unloaded at the Arabian Sea port, they can quickly be spirited northwards to the Chinese border and en
integration by linking together the... Peoples Republic in record time. By cutting days o of the journey and avoiding the possibility of unwanted
American naval interference, CPEC is a priceless gift to each of Chinas partners and is expected to become
the most widely utilized overland trade routes in the world. As CPEC becomes more popular, Pakistan natur
ANDREW KORYBKO 16.08.2016 becomes more important, and this provides the country with the chance to take on expanded leadership
responsibilities in Afro-Eurasia.
GEOPOLITICS Understanding that international trade facilitation between China and each of its partners will become the
backbone of Pakistans future strategic signicance to the rest of the world, the government should take the
initiative to host CPEC trade fairs in Gwadar as a means of showcasing its newfound logistical importance. T
gatherings could be jointly organized by Pakistan and Chinas relevant ministries, and theyd serve the purpo
incentivizing more companies to use this route as additional infrastructure comes online to make it more
attractive. Hand in hand with promoting CPEC, Pakistan could also work on an ambitious public relations
campaign to rebrand its image by associating itself more closely with this project. If done properly, then this
PATRIOTISM VS NATIONALISM IN PAKISTAN dramatically reverse the soft power losses that Pakistan suered across the past two decades when the We
Mainstream Media relentlessly waged information warfare against the country.
Ethnic conicts with reference to color
revolution.

Its crucial that Pakistan takes urgent and visible steps to debunk the foreign-imposed stereotypes that the
country is an exporter of terrorism and horrifyingly unsafe, since this false narrative is a powerful deterre
the development of enhanced trade ties. With this in mind, its advisable that CPEC trade fairs be bolstered
TAYYAB BALOCH 06.07.2016
complementary political and socio-cultural forums, events, and conferences that highlight the recent advan
Pakistans domestic stability and raise awareness about its civilizational connectivity potential in promoting
multilateral dialogue of peace with each of its partners. Thought leaders (think tank experts, analysts, etc.),
journalists, government ocials, and civil society representatives from all across Europe, Russia, Central Asi
Mideast, East Africa, and China should be invited to attend these gatherings in order to network with one an
and learn how Pakistan is becoming synonymous with CPEC, peace, and prosperity.
The ideal goal should be for Gwadar to host regular trade fairs and socio-cultural events which culminate in
ticket yearly meeting akin in esteemed importance to the Shangri-La Dialogue, except focusing on participa
from each of the aforementioned regional actors most likely to partake in CPEC. Given the overt economic f
of CPEC, this prospective headline-grabbing meeting could market itself on bringing together distinguished
representatives from relevant institutional actors such as the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the
the Eurasian Union, GCC, SAARC, the East African Community, and other non-aligned forces such as China,
and Ethiopia, for example. Building o of the common denominator of multilateral trade facilitation throug
CPEC, the attendees at the Gwadar Gathering could then expand upon the subject of conversation to mor
broadly include security, civilizational, and strategic topics as well, which could thus allow for non-CPEC-
participating countries such as India and the US to also take part in this meeting.
Symbolic:
What Pakistan is aiming for is to become one of the centers of the emerging Multipolar World Order
advantage of the limitless benets aorded by CPEC to transform itself from a regional leader to an actor o
hemispheric and even global importance. It can only do this by promoting itself as the neutral and well-trus
point of convergence between a variety of dierent economic actors, which correspondingly enables it to b
its relevance to the world by highlighting how it could serve as a bridge in connecting each of their larger
multilateral interests. There has yet to be (and may very well never be) another state capable of bringing tog
as diverse of a set of partners as Pakistan can through CPEC, since no other country is as relevant to the col
long-term economic prospects of Europe, Russia, Central Asia, the Mideast, East Africa, and China. Consequ
Islamabad should seize the moment by proactively informing each of its current and prospective partners a
the win-win future that awaits them through CPEC, as well as explaining how this directly correlates with the
respective grand strategic interests.

Paying special attention to the leading multipolar Eurasian Great Powers of Russia and China, their partners
with Pakistan fulll an indispensable soft power role for each of them by serving as a powerful bridgehead t
wider engagement with the global Islamic community. Unrecognized by most casual observers, Pakistan is i
the most powerful Muslim country in the world because of the combination of its nuclear weapons arsenal
enormous conventional military capabilities, provably eective counter-terrorist forces, large population, an
fastest-growing Muslim economy, all of which are going to be greatly augmented by Pakistans new global
geostrategic position vis--vis CPEC. Furthermore, Pakistan is neutral in the American-provoked sectarian w
the Mideast, having the second-largest Shiite population behind neighboring Iran yet also enjoying very frui
relations with Saudi Arabia, which thus places it in the enviable and rare position of being trusted by both s
Because of this, Moscow and Beijings productive relations with Islamabad reverberate all across the wider
Ummah and leave a favorable impression in the minds of most Muslims.

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It goes without saying that this intangible civilizational credence is crucially signicant nowadays in order to
o the US divide-and-rule scheme for engineering a clash of civilizations to divide the Eastern Hemisphere
the related need for Pakistan to use CPEC as a springboard for encouraging a dialogue about the imminent
convergence of civilizations across its territory during a prospective Gwadar Gathering. The respected cred
and long-established trust that Pakistan has earned among the global Muslim community can go a long wa
helping Russia and China deepen their socio-economic engagements across the Mideast and East Africa. In
their relationships with Pakistan could eventually become the model for other Muslim countries ties with th
two states and accordingly serve as the gateway for strategically broadening these Great Powers presence
these regions, with Islamabad cementing the progress that Moscow and Beijing have already made in this r
and ultimately complementing their grand strategies.

Channels
As it was stipulated earlier in the research, the convergence of civilizations and all of the aforementioned co
are entirely dependent on the multilateral connectivity potential of CPEC, particularly in terms of how it rela
successfully attracting European, Russian, Central Asian, Mideast, East African, and Chinese trade across Pa
territory. This is the essential prerequisite which must be met in order for Islamabad to proceed with its 21
century plans to become a globally relevant Great Power all across the Eastern Hemisphere. Because of how
intimately the countrys future is tied to CPEC, and keeping in mind the earlier suggestion that Pakistan rebr
itself to more closely aliate its international image with this project, the following list elaborates on some
bilateral CPEC relationships that Islamabad should promote as soon as possible, all of which if actualized w
collectively contribute to the convergence of civilizations and consequent multipolar stability:
CPEC-China:
The initial purpose behind CPEC was to provide China with a reliable overland access route to the Indian Oc
means of its close Pakistani ally, thereby easing the physical, nancial, and strategic costs of trade with its
European, Mideast, and East African partners per the reasons that were discussed at the beginning of this
analysis. CPEC has been developing at a very fast pace, especially the work thats been done in Gwadar, and
project is already operational despite not being fully completed. As it stands, this is the rst of Chinas many
Road projects to be open for business, even if its only partially online at the moment. The reason why this i
important to draw attention to is because Beijing hopes to eventually construct two additional mainland tra
routes across Eurasia in order to link the Peoples Republic more directly with its European, Russian, and Mi
partners. These are the Eurasian Land Bridge across Russia and an envisioned high-speed railroad across C
Asia to Iran and inevitably to Turkey and further aeld to the EU (via the Balkans).

Neither of these has made as much progress as the One Belt One Roads agship project of CPEC, and there
telling when theyll ever be fully constructed. The Eurasian Land Bridge is the most spoken about and seriou
considered of the two trans-continental routes under consideration, but even this landmark eort of the
Chinese Strategic Partnership is still far from becoming a reality anytime soon. Moreover, both the Eurasian
Bridge and the prospective Rimland Railroad between China and the EU (by means of Iran, Turkey, and the
Balkans) are fraught with signicant Hybrid War risks and political sensitivities in the era of the New Cold W
a multitude of scenarios could arise whereby these routes are either ultimately unconstructed, rendered
inoperable, and/or anxiously avoided for one reason or another. With this in mind, theres no doubt that CP
remain the premier New Silk Road project for the foreseeable future, and in the absence of large-scale tradi
across the Northern Sea Route (which itself is dependent on unpredictable environmental and political
conditions), it might even be the only feasible non-Malacca maritime trade route to China for its Eastern
Hemispheric partners.

Conceptually speaking, CPEC can be likened to the jugular vein of Afro-Eurasian integration, and its expecte
be a vital driving force of the emerging Multipolar World Order. At the same time, however, the projects un
geostrategic signicance makes it an irresistible target of subterfuge, which will be touched upon in the thir
nal section of this research. This is important to keep in mind as all of the subsequent CPEC connectivity
channels and resultant convergence of civilizations would disappear if the endeavor itself was put into serio
jeopardy by joint US-Indian covert eorts. Therefore, whether its consciously recognized or not at this time
long-term viability of the EU, Mideast, and East Africas trade with China is in danger if Washington and New
ramp up their destabilization eorts against Pakistan. This is a highly sensitive political point which may not
be publicly stated but must nevertheless be discretely conveyed to each of these stakeholders sooner than
so that they can properly comprehend the risks that their American and Indian partners are irresponsibly
creating for them. The same goes for Russia and Central Asia, which obviously wouldnt use CPEC to further
trade with adjacent China, but rather to gain direct access to the wider Indian Ocean Region marketplace.
CPEC-EU:
The EU is one of Chinas largest trading partners and vice-versa, so it can be condently anticipated that CPE
eventually be used to conduct a large amount of bilateral trade between them. It was already discussed how
route reduces the physical, nancial, and strategic costs of commerce between these two, and as Pakistan
successfully rebrands its national image and more of CPECs infrastructural projects come online, its expect
European and Chinese companies will come to increasingly rely on this geographically pivotal vector of thei
relationship. Although an increasing amount of trans-continental overland trade will inevitably be conducte
across the Eurasian Land Bridge and Rimland Railroad, neither project is expected to enter into full operatio
anytime soon, and even when they do, Hybrid War risks and political sensitivities might render them inoper
make certain states avoid them.

Being the prudent long-term strategists that they are, the Chinese arent taking any chances by assuming th
either of these two projects will ever replace the EUs maritime trade with the Peoples Republic, which expla
why Beijing bought the Greek port of Piraeus (one of the largest in Europe) and is constructing the Balkan S
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why Beijing bought the Greek port of Piraeus (one of the largest in Europe) and is constructing the Balkan S
Road high-speed rail route from the Mediterranean to Central and Eastern Europe. The intention behind thi
initiative is to allow China to conveniently trade with these regions via a newly charted southern access rout
opposed to having to lengthily circumnavigate the European peninsula and ooad goods to them from the
Sea. Beijing wouldnt be pursuing the Balkan Silk Road if it had full condence that the Eurasian Land Bridge
would mostly replace the EUs maritime trade with China, so the very fact that the given project is in existen
progressively moving forward should be taken as a sign that China expects more of its EU trade to transit th
CPEC instead.

To explain a little bit more in case the reader doesnt follow, all maritime trade between the EU and China is
greatly assisted by CPEC because of the comparatively lesser physical, nancial, and strategic costs that it en
as compared to the circuitously longer route through the bottlenecked chokepoint of the Strait of Malacca a
contentious South China Sea. Just like the Eurasian Land Bridge wont ever fully replace the EUs maritime tr
with China, so too will CPEC never fully replace this mode of trades historic reliance on the Strait of Malacca
the South China Sea. Rather, the Pakistani-traversing project oers an alternative route to China which is le
susceptible to external interference, while ironically remaining just as dependent on the Suez Canals and Ba
Mandeb. However, the key dierence between these western chokepoints and their eastern counterparts is
theyre controlled by Egypt and the GCC, respectively, both of which are on very friendly terms with Pakistan
China, which makes it considerably less likely that theyll agree to go along with the US geopolitical blackma
against either.
CPEC-Mideast:
The next connectivity channel which will be discussed should be divided into Iranian and non-Iranian halves
to several important geographic and strategic dierences. Turkey and the Levantine countries could conduc
trade with China just like the Europeans do through the Mediterranean, Suez Canals, and Bab El Mandeb en
to CPEC. If the geopolitical situation allows them to, however, they could also transport their goods overland
through Iraq and onwards to the Persian Gulf, from where they could then trade with China just like most o
Gulf Kingdoms do by crossing the Strait of Hormuz and accessing CPEC. The UAE, Oman, and Yemen import
avoid any of these three chokepoints by having direct maritime connectivity to CPEC, thus giving them the h
degree of exibility in trading with China and potentially positioning them to function as alternative overlan
detours in the event that the bottlenecks become unpassable.
Iran is in a somewhat interesting place by theoretically having three potential avenues for conducting trade
China. All of the countrys ports except for Chabahar are in the Persian Gulf and thus dependent on the Stra
Hormuz chokepoint. As for the far eastern port in the province of Sistan and Baluchestan, its relatively
underdeveloped despite Indias commitment to modernize it as part of its ambitious eorts to streamline th
called North-South Corridor. Chabahar also remains largely disconnected from the rest of Irans road and ra
networks, making it very dicult for the country to rely on it in times of dire need. Similarly, because of
Chabahars distance relative to the rest of the country and its economic heartland, its unlikely that Iran will
properly utilize the commercial possibilities of the neighboring CPEC port of Gwadar anytime soon, though
doesnt necessarily mean that Tehrans participation in the project should be ruled out. Iran recently
interest in CPEC, and its possible that if India follows through on its promises and helps to develop this corn
the country, that it could inadvertently allow Iran to strengthen its connectivity with CPEC.

This is very important because Iran cant rely on the Rimland Railroad which has yet to even materialize into
concrete proposal, and even if it ever does, Central Asia will always remain a Hybrid War hotspot. Furtherm
although theres already a roundabout rail route connecting Iran with China via the peripheries of Kazakhsta
Turkmenistan, its not economically dependable at this time and is also much longer than simply shipping g
from the countrys western economic heartland across the Persian Gulf to Gwadar and then northwards to
Itll take a lot of time before the Rimland Railway becomes a practical option for Chinese-Iranian bilateral tra
in the meantime, Iran might just have to depend on either entirely maritime routes to China or the shortcut
through CPEC. At this point, its pertinent to talk about the CPEC-Iran channel and how it could reasonably d
in the future.

It was already written how Iran is unlikely to achieve large-scale direct mainland connection to CPEC due to
infrastructure shortcomings in Sistan and Baluchestan province, so this begs the question of what other typ
connectivity are available aside from sailing across the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz to Gwadar. Reade
should be made aware that the bulk of Iranian-Chinese trade is through energy resources, and that its in th
sphere where Tehran could potentially be most useful for CPEC. A $2 billion partially-Chinese-nanced
Pakistan gas pipeline is already under construction which will one day transport gas across Gwadar and to
Nawabshah, from where itll then enter Pakistans internal gas distribution network and help power the rest
country. Interestingly, Russia is also involved in constructing the $2 billion North-South gas pipeline from Ka
to Lahore which will enable Pakistan to import LNG in the future. Taken together and prognosticating the be
case scenario, theres a chance that Russia and Iran could be convinced to put aside their undeclared energ
rivalry and cooperate in helping to bring Gulf gas to China via Pakistan.

For example, following the eventual completion of the Iran-Pakistan and North-South gas pipelines, these
successful condence-building projects could be used as the launching pad for a grander multilateral conne
initiative aimed at more closely integrating Russia, China, Pakistan, and Iran. Russia, with its globally renown
professional expertise in the gas sector, could modernize and develop an expanded CPEC-parallel pipeline f
shipping Iranian gas to China. Theres a lot of technical planning that would be involved with this and it prob
wouldnt see the light of day until midway through the next decade at the absolute earliest, but its a promis
idea which should at the very least be casually entertained by the expert and professional communities in c
becomes viably attractive in the future. As the 21st century steadily becomes characterized by Eurasian integ
its only a matter of time before this proposal is seriously looked at as a logical way to expand upon CPEC an

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deepen Iranian-Chinese relations, with the collateral benet being that Russia and Pakistan could also draw
closer as well.
CPEC-East Africa:
Chinas commercial relations with East Africa are taking on a heightened importance in the early 21st
representing the most dependable way for the Peoples Republic to deal with its overcapacity and thus sust
domestic economic growth and social stability. Contrary to what many Western pundits have alleged, China
investments in Africa are no longer just one-sided cash-for-resource agreements, but part of a mutually ben
development partnership whereby Beijing is sincerely committed to seeing its counterparts ourish and pro
China needs African markets just like Africa needs Chinese infrastructural investments, and this win-win
arrangement makes for a perfect match between the two partners. The author extensively explored the nat
Chinese-African relations in his ongoing Hybrid War series at Oriental Review, and the reader is strongly
encouraged to reference it for additional detailed information about the nuances of this under-discussed
partnership.

As the most generalized summary which can be topically oered in this context, China is constructing four u
strategic infrastructure corridors along the eastern part of the continent which could directly link up with CP
after their cross-oceanic journey to Gwadar. From north to south, these are the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway; th
LAPSSET Corridor between Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Kenya; the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) across Ken
and Uganda; and the Central Corridor (CC) from Tanzania to Rwanda and Burundi. Additionally, theres also
1970s legacy project of the TAZARA railway which has recently been modernized and connects the coastal c
to its landlocked and copper-rich neighbor of Zambia. It should also be said the SGR, CC, and TAZARA have t
very real possibility of laying the foundation for an interoceanic North and South Trans-African Railway brid
the continents Indian and Atlantic coasts.

Regardless of how far Chinas infrastructure projects go in penetrating the heart of Africa and beyond, its
indisputable that trade between the two is always growing and will gure ever more prominently in Beijings
strategic calculus. Due to physical constraints, all bilateral trade must cross the Indian Ocean for some leng
distance or another, so it only makes sense that this will be expedited via CPEC and its conveniently located
northern oceanic port of Gwadar. In terms of the bigger picture, this means that Pakistan is poised to becom
geographic interface through which Chinese-African trade is conducted, which could thus make Islamabad a
future player in East African aairs. Being the most powerful Muslim country and the origin of some British
colonial descendants, Pakistan can leverage its religious and ethnic links along the majority-Muslim East Afr
coast in order to prospect new networking and investment opportunities that simultaneously work out to it
and Chinas strategic benet through the overlapping complementarities of Islamabads outreach programs
Beijings One Belt One Road vision.
CPEC-Russia/Central Asia:
The last CPEC channel to be discussed is that between Pakistan and its northern partners in Russia and Cen
Asia. Moscow and its regional allies obviously dont need to go through Pakistan in order to trade with China
they do need to utilize CPEC if they are to gain market access to East Africa, South Asia, and ASEAN. Russia d
currently have many economic interests in Africa, but its government is keen to develop the countrys comm
ties with India and ASEAN, neither of which are exclusively dependent on CPEC but could be greatly assisted
In connection with this, Russia could potentially access Pakistan via the narrow border that it shares with Ch
between Altai and Xinjiang, through which Moscow is already countenancing the possibility of energy
pipelines. If Russian decision makers continue to pay attention to this strategic corridor, then its likely that
eventually realize that it could also be used for connecting Siberia to the Indian Ocean by means of CPEC an
facilitating the countrys trade with India and ASEAN.

However, due to Indias jealous jingoism, Moscow cant openly declare its eagerness to utilize CPEC, hence w
must resort to a curious diplomatic game of denying any ocial interest or investment in the project, but at
same time remaining silent about the likelihood of private Russian companies using this apolitical infrastruc
network. Theres of course no way that Moscow could or ever would prohibit its private citizens and busines
entities from transporting their goods across CPEC, so Indias obsessive eorts to prevent Russia from using
inevitably be in vain. Nevertheless, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Aairs must still play along with India an
ocially deny that Moscow is involved in CPEC, which is technically the truth because the government itself
part in it, though the same obviously cant be said for its private citizens once the project is fully operational
potentially linked to Siberia by means of the Altai-Xinjiang Corridor.

As for the Central Asian republics, theyre not under any such diplomatic pressure to publicly distance them
from CPEC, and its very likely that theyll take advantage of this project in order to achieve access to the wid
global economy and the valuable marketplaces of East Africa, South Asia, and ASEAN. Additionally, CPEC cou
also potentially open up another avenue for Central Asian-EU trade, as well as commercial interactions with
Mideast, so its improbable that the landlocked countries will avoid using it. Even so, India isnt giving up and
its own ambitions to connect with Central Asia through an overland route across Iran which would serve as
outgrowth of the North-South Corridor, though remembering just how far behind New Delhi is in tangibly
actualizing this, one shouldnt get their hopes up that it will happen anytime soon. Given the Central Asian
countries close relationship with China, theres a greater likelihood that theyd defer to using CPEC as oppos
the North-South Corridor for conducting their extra-regional trade, though the latter could still be exploited
day to uncontrollably push Indian goods onto their markets in a desperate bid to displace Chinas inuence
Challenges
Absent any external inference, all of the abovementioned scenarios and connectivity channels would likely
develop as expected, but appreciating just how signicant CPEC is to the emerging Multipolar World Order a
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the 21st century in general, theres no way that the US and India will passively stand by and allow any of this
happen if they can help it. After all, CPEC is the umbilical cord of Chinas sustained economic integration wit
of the Eastern Hemisphere, and snipping it would deal a death blow to Beijings future leadership plans. Its
this reason why the US-Indian Strategic Partnership is scoping out CPEC and probing its most likely vulnerab
to exploit, though theyre aware that they must tread carefully and act indirectly since theyd otherwise risk
provoking a wider war which could quickly go nuclear if they decided to conventionally attack.

Barring a suicidal surgical strike campaign by India or an unthinkable limited intervention aimed at cuttin
CPEC in half through Gilgit-Baltistan (both of which might frighteningly seem attractive to the pro-American
Hindutva extremists currently running New Delhi at the moment), the US and India will resort to operating
through proxies in order to achieve their grand strategic objective of sabotaging this project. Its unrealistic
think that either of them could fully stop CPEC at this point, but what they intend to do is raise the economi
security costs of doing business by spiking fears about the routes safety and thereby scaring away potentia
companies which might otherwise be eager to utilize this strategic shortcut to China. Pakistan and China ar
closely cooperating on ensuring CPECs security, but its impossible for every inch of this network to be unde
surveillance and control at every single second, and its bound that some attacks will be launched against it
time.
What the American and Indian intelligence agencies are depending on is that they can succeed in stirring up
enough domestic political disturbances inside of Pakistan that the military is unable to totally commit to
protecting CPEC due to much more urgent and immediately prioritized problems, such as dealing with a Co
Revolution outbreak in the countrys main cities for example. Concurrent with this, unconventional warfare
operatives could provoke violence in Balochistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) using th
country proxies and Afghan-based terrorists. This was briey discussed in the authors end-of-the-year radi
commentary and 2017 analytical forecast for South Asia, and its an emerging trend which has been warned
for some time but which will acquire imminence as CPEC becomes an ever more prominent vehicle for prom
multipolarity in Afro-Eurasia.
This isnt to say that every destabilization scenario will succeed or that theyll play out simultaneously, but ju
the risk is evidently there and its clear that this warning encapsulates the most likely range of unconvention
instruments which the US-Indian Strategic Partnership could conceivably muster in trying to disrupt CPEC. H
said that, Pakistan is stronger than ever before after having nally beaten back the terrorist insurgencies wh
plagued the country all throughout the rst decade of the millennium, and its thus more than capable of
preemptively dealing with any of these eventualities, to say nothing of properly responding to them after th
Despite that, its always useful to keep the most probable threats facing ones country in mind in order to re
alert at all times and mentally conditioned for tackling any trouble the moment that it arises, which is why it
necessary to discuss the various dangers facing CPEC so as to never be caught o guard in case they mater
Concluding Thoughts
CPEC is the cornerstone of Chinas One Belt One Road global vision of infrastructure connectivity and its
conception of 21st-century multipolarity, and its not an exaggeration to state that its one of the most impor
game-changing projects to ever be attempted in history. Even looking solely at its bilateral Chinese-Pakistan
implications, CPEC is an historic expansion of Beijings inuence into South Asia and an unprecedented dire
gateway to the broader Indian Ocean Region. It essentially nullies the strategic utility of the US Pivot to As
reducing Chinas dependency on the South China Sea and Strait of Malacca, both of which Washington has
feverishly tried to turn into geopolitical traps for blackmailing Beijing. Proverbially speaking, all of that metic
planning and billions of dollars of military-strategic investments could go out the window with CPEC, which
Washington is so furious with the project and decided to team up with New Delhi which is equally aggrava
its own hyper-nationalist reasons to try and undermine this corridor through the unconventional means o
proxy warfare.
All of this is being done because of the immediate impact that CPEC has on strengthening Chinese-Pakistan
relations and Beijings strategic presence in the Indian Ocean Region, but the US and India also have more f
reaching goals in mind. Its clear that CPECs full completion will propel Pakistan into becoming the most imp
transit state in the world due to its role in facilitating Chinas trade with the EU, Mideast, and East Africa, as w
Russia and the Central Asian republics trade with the Global South. As such, a diverse variety of civilization
representatives and interests will be traversing across Pakistan, thereby making the country the focal point
convergence of civilizations in the 21st century. No other place in the world is poised to fulll such a role on
level that Pakistan is, as its truly becoming the zipper not just of pan-Eurasian integration, but of Afro-Euras
integration as well due to the functionality that CPEC will have in enhancing Chinese-African trade.
If properly utilized, the coming years can become a godsend for Pakistan by assisting in its transformation f
regional leader to a hemispheric and potentially even globally inuential Great Power, provided of course th
Islamabad is keen enough to promote the convergence of civilizations which is destined to take place on its
territory. No other state except for Russia comes close to matching Pakistans capabilities in managing a dia
of civilizations, as Moscow lacks the positive historic relations with the Mideast and East Africa that Islamab
though it admittedly makes up for it with its long-held ties to Europe and Central Asia. However, while Russi
certainly become a powerful force in the Mideast over the past couple of years and especially through its re
Tripartite partnership with Turkey and Iran, its a one-way street in the sense that Moscows inuence is ente
the region but not the other way around (although thats not necessarily a bad thing), and it still has yet to r
its Soviet-era ties with Africa (if ever).

On the other hand, although Pakistan doesnt immediately seem to have much in common nowadays with t
Russia, and Central Asia, these three regions will naturally be drawn to it by virtue of Pakistans strategic
geography through CPEC, thereby bringing their representatives and interests into contact with those from
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geography through CPEC, thereby bringing their representatives and interests into contact with those from

the Mideast, and East Africa. The brilliance behind Beijings project is that it basically serves as a convenient
century superhighway for facilitating trade between the rest of the world and China, which translates in pra
terms to Pakistan becoming the geographic bridge economically connecting these civilizations together. Suc
role is inordinately important in the emerging Multipolar World Order and serves the purpose of sustaining
peaceful dialogue of civilizations amidst what will expectedly be an era of American-driven identity conict (
Wars) aimed at preventing the integration of Afro-Eurasia. Pakistan is thereby endowed with unparalleled
responsibility in making sure that these plans dont succeed, but for this to happen, its decision makers mu
grasp the global and historic geostrategic signicance of their country in taking the lead to promote the con
of civilizations.

Related links
The Russia Pakistan Equation
Chinas Globalist Agenda
Pakistan's ExistentialVindication Over India
Patriotism vs Nationalism in Pakistan

CPEC. China. Pakistan

SEE ALSO

MULTIPOLARITY

CPEC AND THE 21ST CENTURY


CONVERGENCE OF CIVILIZATIONS

The current century presents a


plethora of strategic opportunities
for Pakistan, provided that
Islamabad knows how to pluck the
low-hanging fruit and...

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