Summary

Rising powers are now vying to establish the routes that will characterize world trade in the coming century. One of the best-funded and most recognizable of these efforts is China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), in which Pakistan plays a significant role via the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Gwadar port on the Arabian sea is the lynchpin of CPEC, and Islamabad and Beijing are hoping to transform this small fishing community into a new transit hub for regional energy and trade flows. But in the process they will have to overcome a daunting security environment and competition from other upstarts in the neighborhood, notably Iran’s Chabahar port.