Several Chinese firms in Pakistan have violated laws and local social customs of the Islamic nation during the construction of China’s USD 46 billion economic corridor, according to a report. Though there was “unexpected progress” in the implementation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, it still faces plenty of internal and external difficulties, said an article by Zhou Rong and Chen Xiaochen of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies (CIFS) at Renmin University of China. “Some Chinese enterprises in Pakistan also have shortcomings. They are fond of instant success instead of making long-term plans. Several Chinese enterprises have violated Pakistan’s laws and local social customs, which badly damaged the reputation of the Chinese people,” it said.
To solve these problems, the construction of the CPEC requires a long-term plan, it said. “The Pakistan government is hoping that most of the power station and infrastructure projects can be completed ahead of next year’s election. However, this may not be possible according to the construction contractors,” it said. The institute recently launched an intensive research programme to look at the progress and problems of the CPEC construction in Pakistan. “After assessment, we found that the construction has been unexpectedly fast. Four key areas of cooperation – energy, transport infrastructure, industrial cooperation and Gwadar Port – have made significant progress,” it said.
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It said that in the face of the huge benefits of the CPEC, miscellaneous political forces all want to have a finger in the pie, which makes the original contradictions even more intensified. Some decision-makers involved in construction of the corridor have little interest in project construction but great interest in personal gain, ignoring the social benefits of the project, the article added. “In Pakistan, it is unrealistic to expect to eliminate corruption completely, but we hope it can be constrained as much as possible. In addition, political, environmental and security risks should be minimised by persuading the central government to take care of the interests of all parties,” it added.
The CPEC is a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking southern Pakistan, and the Gwadar Port, to China’s restive Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region. As it passes through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), India has raised objection to the project.