A super highway allowing communism to spread. Doesn’t sound like the best idea.
China’s President Xi Jinping is on a two-day visit to Pakistan, where he is expected to announce investment of $46bn (£30.7bn).
The focus of spending is on building a China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – a network of roads, railway and pipelines between the long-time allies.
They will run some 3,000km (1,865 miles) from Gwadar in Pakistan to China’s western Xinjiang region.
The projects will give China direct access to the Indian Ocean and beyond.
This marks a major advance in China’s plans to boost its economic influence in Central and South Asia, correspondents say, and far exceeds US spending in Pakistan.
“Pakistan, for China, is now of pivotal importance. This has to succeed and be seen to succeed,” Reuters quoted Mushahid Hussain Sayed, chairman of the Pakistani parliament’s defence committee, as saying.
Pakistan, for its part, hopes the investment will boost its struggling economy and help end chronic power shortages.
Is Pakistan on the verge of becoming the Asian Tiger Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said it would become when he was last in power in 1997?
China plans to inject some $46bn – just a little less than three times the entire foreign direct investment Pakistan has received since 2008. Many say Mr Sharif’s penchant for “thinking big” and China’s increasing need to control maritime trade routes may well combine to pull off an economic miracle in Pakistan over the next four years, when Pakistani officials say most of the projects being finalised today will be well under way.
But there are questions over Pakistan’s ability to absorb this investment given its chronic problems with militancy, separatism, political volatility and official corruption.
China is worried about violence from ethnic Uighurs in its mostly Muslim north-western Xinjiang region and fears hardline separatists could team up with Uighur Islamic militants fighting alongside members of Pakistan’s Taliban.
Read more: BBC