The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), China's flagship initiative on its imperialistic and expansionist agenda under its Belt and Road Initiative, is on its way to becoming a "trillion-dollar blunder" project, say analysts.

The CPEC is a collection of infrastructure projects currently under construction throughout Pakistan, they were originally valued at $46 billion and now estimated to be $87 billion, while only a quarter of which have been completed, according to The Jerusalem Post.

The daily pointed out that CPEC had intended to rapidly modernize Pakistani infrastructure and strengthen its economy in constructing modern transportation networks, numerous energy projects and special economic zones (SEZs).

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Counter Currents

However, in recent years CPEC proved itself to be based on the false premise that a nation needs such massive economic projects to be prosperous. Now, it is apparent that no one is willing to pay for these projects, as these projects will never make any money.

The debt quotient of this corridor is about $80 billion and 90 percent of which will be paid for by Pakistan in the form of a national debt. Pakistan knows that it will not be able to pay China back and will slowly lose the sovereignty of its own land.

Criticism

CPEC has faced a lot of criticism like finances, trade imbalances, opposition from Baloch nationalists, concerns of residents near Gwadar Port and the resistance of local actors whom this rollout may directly impact. One resolution was also passed against the CPEC by the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in which the projects are to be constructed.

CPEC
CPEC Cacianalyst

Last month, Husain Haqqani, Pakistan's former ambassador to the United States wrote an article in 'The Diplomat' stating that Pakistan's desire to maintain strategic relations with China has resulted in the construction of $62 billion worth of CPEC including a set of infrastructure projects, being mired in insufficient transparency.

"China's consistent strategic support, including help with Pakistan's nuclear program, is often held out by Pakistan's military establishment favorably in contrast with the more conditional Pakistani alliance with the United States. But it seems now that China is not in Pakistan to help its people but rather as a predatory economic actor", he said.

Legal Issue

Meanwhile, this new legal issue starts haunting China. According to the international law, China cannot build anything in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, as it is legitimately part of the Indian state. Even the UN accepts that this is Indian land, according to its 1948 resolution on Kashmir.

Likewise, Aksai Chin, also a part of India, previously occupied illegally by Pakistan and later gifted to China, is also an obstacle. China may not be able to build or pass through that area without India's permission, which it will definitely not get.

During the recent standoff in India's Eastern Ladakh along the "Line of Actual Control" (LAC), it was clearly stated that New Delhi will not accept any infiltration into its territory and has the capability to deal with infiltrators.

Hence, the experts say, the CPEC will soon be known as the "trillion-dollar blunder" as here China sets the price and Pakistan gets the bill, while ending up with substandard infrastructure which it cannot service.

(With inputs from agencies)