THE CHALLENGES TO CPEC: FUTURE OF STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT IN THE SOUTH ASIA
Seven decades-long strategic partnership of Pakistan and China has survived all political weathers. Mainly, it grew up in two major domains i.e. political and military cooperation. But in 2015 both countries have entered into a new era of economic cooperation by signing a commercial agreement i.e. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It is a flagship project of Chinese strategic plan of socioeconomic and political cooperation through regional connectivity; Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013. Today, CPEC has become a widely discussed aspect of Pak-China relations for several reasons. First, CPEC provides shortest route to China towards the Middle East and Europe because of the Geo-strategic location of Pakistan especially, Gwadar port. Second, both China and Pakistan want to utilize economic dividends of CPEC for socio-economic development of their underdeveloped areas like the western autonomous region of China, Xinjiang, and the Balochistan province of Pakistan. CPEC has a deep impact on the future strategic alignment in South Asia. This paper explore multiple challenges to CPEC which Pakistan and China are supposed to tackle and another hypothetical connotation of CPEC i.e. complex projection of economic competence.