The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is one of the six major corridors envisioned by China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). First conceived in 2013 before being officially launched under the banner of BRI in 2015, the initiative envisions the construction of numerous transport and energy infrastructure projects, which together serve to link the economies of China and Pakistan via Kashgar in the north, and the China-financed Arabian Sea port of Gwadar in the south. The scale of investments envisioned by CPEC holds out the possibility of dramatically expediting Pakistan’s development track and resolving a litany of the country’s long-standing infrastructure deficiencies. Now, five years later, we can begin to assess the extent to which CPEC delivered on its promise.
CPEC has been a major plank of China-Pakistan relations since it was launched in 2015. The initiative involves the following aspects: