China, Pakistan and the Belt and Road Initiative

New edited volume on Chinese “flagship project” in Pakistan released

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On June 21 “China, Pakistan and the Belt and Road Initiative: the Experience of an Early Adopter State” will be published by Rout­ledge. The edited volume by Pascal Abb, Filippo Boni (The Open Uni­versity) and Hasan H. Karrar (Lahore Uni­versity of Manage­ment Sciences) offers a compreh­ensive analysis of the impact of the China-Pakistan Econ­omic Corridor (CPEC) on Pakistan's economy, poli­tics and society.

Despite political upheaval in Pakistan, China has invested over 30 billion US dollars in infra­structure there. CPEC is seen as a “flagship” of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and is adver­tised as a “game changer” for Pakistan. In view of the assumed transf­ormative influence, the intern­ational authors of the volume work out the complexity of the CPEC: in their contri­butions, ranging from agri­culture, the environ­ment and gender equality to security, they address both the develop­mental benefits and the resulting contro­versies in the conflict-affected country. Using new empirical data on the local impact of CPEC, they challenge prevailing narra­tives about the BRI as a strategic tool controlled by China to trans­form other countries along its lines. CPEC, they argue, can rather be under­stood as an inter­active process between China and its inter­national partners that entails interde­pendent relationships.

On June 27, 14:00 (CET), the parti­cipants will present their findings in a virtual book launch moderated by Pascal Abb. Further infor­mation on the book can be found on the publisher's website.

Pascal Abb, Senior Researcher at PRIF, focuses on the role of a rising China in a global conflict environ­ment in the inter­nationally cooperating research projects “The Belt and Road Initiative’s impact on conflict states” and “Chinese Adap­tation to Conflict Risks in the Era of the Belt and Road Initia­tive”. In a recent article on our PRIF blog, he analyzed the economic engage­ment of China and Japan in inter­nationally largely isolated Myanmar.