Security challenges at a geopolitical crossroads
On Monday, October 31, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was officially inaugurated, with the heavily guarded arrival of over 100 import tax-exempt Chinese containers in Hunza, Pakistan. The sheer scale and crucial geostrategic location of the CPEC –arguably the most important link between OBOR’s land and maritime components- make this corridor a lynchpin of Beijing’s grand initiative.
In his article author Francesco Saverio Montesano argues that the CPEC has the potential to deeply reshape Pakistan’s economic standing and overall regional role, as well as to provide a substantial boost to China’s Belt and Road initiative. Accordingly, its relevance goes beyond the –admittedly sizable- face value of its infrastructure projects, and straddles the economic and geopolitical interests of several key actors, some of which see the CPEC under a threatening light. The more or less veiled hostility of giants like India and the US, combined with an already dangerously volatile security situation in many regions along the corridor, is bound to pose a very difficult challenge to the eventual implementation of the Corridor.