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One Belt, One Road, One Big Mistake

Source: Foreign Policy
Author: 
Date:  

The headlines coming out of this year’s APEC conference in Papua New Guinea focused on the conflict between America and China that kept the forum from issuing a joint communiqué. Less noticed were two short memorandums released on the sidelines of the conference by the island nations of Vanuatu and Tonga. In return for renegotiating existing debt, both agreed to become the newest participants—following other Pacific nations like Papua New Guinea and Fiji—in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign-policy venture, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

As Xi’s trillion-dollar development strategy has snaked away from the Eurasian heartland and into the South Pacific, western Africa, and Latin America, concern has grown. Many Americans fear that the Belt and Road Initiative is an extension of efforts by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to undermine the security and economic architecture of the international order. China’s growing largesse, they worry, comes largely at the expense of international institutions and American influence.

This angst lies behind another announcement made at last month’s APEC gathering: Australia, Japan, and the United States declared that they had formed their own trilateral investment initiative to help meet infrastructure needs in the Indo-Pacific. For some this is not enough: In its most recent report to the United States Congress, the bipartisan U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission recommended that Congress create an additional fund “to provide additional bilateral assistance for countries that are a target of or vulnerable to Chinese economic or diplomatic pressure.”

This is the wrong response to the Belt and Road Initiative. Ignore the hype: For the Chinese, this initiative has been a strategic blunder. By buying into the flawed idea that barrels of money are all that is needed to solve complex geopolitical problems, China has committed a colossal error. Xi’s dictatorship makes it almost impossible for the country to admit this mistake or abandon his pet project. The United States and its allies gain nothing from making China’s blunders their own.

In Xi’s speeches, the phrase most closely associated with the Belt and Road Initiative is “community of common destiny.” Xi’s use of this term is meant to link the BRI to the deeper purpose party leaders have articulated for the CCP over the last three decades. China’s leaders believe that not only is it their “historic mission” to bring about China’s “national rejuvenation” as the world’s most prestigious power, but that China has a unique role to play in the development of “political civilization” writ large.

It is the Chinese, Xi maintains (as Hu and Jiang did before him), who have adapted socialism to modern conditions, and in so doing have created a unique Chinese answer to “the problems facing mankind.” Though this answer began in China, Xi is clear that the time has come for “Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach” to benefit those outside of China. The Belt and Road Initiative is intended to do just that. By using the Chinese model of socialism to develop the world’s poorer regions, the initiative justifies Xi’s grandiose claims about the party’s historic mission on the international stage.

To match these lofty aims, Chinese academics and policy analysts at prestigious party think tanks have articulated more down-to-earth goals for the initiative. According to them, the BRI promises to integrate China’s internal markets with those of its neighbours. Doing so will bring its neighbours closer to China geopolitically and bring stability to the region. By increasing economic activity in China’s border regions, such as Xinjiang and Tibet, the Belt and Road Initiative will lessen the appeal that separatist ideology might have to the residents. Another projected benefit is the energy security that will come through the construction of BRI-funded transport routes. Finally, by articulating and then following through on an initiative that puts common development over power politics, China will gain an advantage over other major countries (read: Japan and the United States) who present the world as a black-and-white competition for hegemony. The community of common destiny, these analysts have claimed, is a community that will immensely benefit China.

As the Belt and Road Initiative is only five years old (and many of its main members have been involved for a far shorter time) its full results cannot yet be judged. However, a preliminary assessment can be offered for BRI projects in South and Southeast Asia, the region described by Chinese leaders as the “main axis” of the Belt and Road Initiative. It is here that BRI investment is strongest and has been around longest. The picture is not promising. The hundreds of billions spent in these countries has not produced returns for investors, nor political returns for the party. Whether Chinese leaders actually seek a financial return from the Belt and Road Initiative has always been questionable—the sovereign debt of 27 BRI countries is regarded as “junk” by the three main ratings agencies, while another 14 have no rating at all.

Investment decisions often seem to be driven by geopolitical needs instead of sound financial sense. In South and Southeast Asia expensive port development is an excellent case study. A 2016 CSIS report judged that none of the Indian Ocean port projects funded through the BRI have much hope of financial success. They were likely prioritized for their geopolitical utility. Projects less clearly connected to China’s security needs have more difficulty getting off the ground: the research firm RWR Advisory Group notes that 270 BRI infrastructure projects in the region (or 32 per cent of the total value of the whole) have been put on hold because of problems with practicality or financial viability. There is a vast gap between what the Chinese have declared they will spend and what they have actually spent.

There is also a gap between how BRI projects are supposed to be chosen and how they actually have been selected. Xi and other party leaders have characterized BRI investment in Eurasia as following along defined “economic corridors” that would directly connect China to markets and peoples in other parts of the continent. By these means the party hopes to channel capital into areas where it will have the largest long-term benefit and will make cumulative infrastructure improvements possible.

World Bank official lauds BRI, CPEC role in promoting intra-regional trade

Source: The News
Date: 5th December, 2018.

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank (WB) on Tuesday disclosed that around 71 countries under Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) obtained around 5 percent debt from China including Pakistan but stressed upon the need for ensuring more access to the data and transparency.

While addressing at SDPI conference here on Tuesday, Caroline Freund, WB’s Director Macroeconomics, Trade & Investment said that BRI and China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) were playing important role for promoting intra- regional trade by building infrastructure but the trade facilitation was required to enhance trade among different regions of the world including this part of the world. The infrastructure alone cannot promote trade but other requisites such as facilitation can help a lot to ensure trade among different parts of the world.

“We are conducting a detailed study about BRI but our initial assessment shows that debt has not become major problem for loan recipient countries under this mega initiative. It stands at around 5 percent of total loans portfolio of 71 countries of BRI,” she added. The trade, she said, had gone up in recent years among different countries and regions of the world.

She said the debt provided by China to BRI countries was highlighted as major problem but their study showed that it was not as big as mentioned in recent news reports. However, she stressed upon the need for sharing more data and placing transparency to ascertain facts based on reality.

On the occasion, Deputy Mission Chief of China’s Embassy in Pakistan Lijian Zhao said that the misconception of debt trap levelled against BRI proved a lie through the work done by the WB. He said that the BRI helped generating 200000 jobs out of which 75000 jobs were created in Pakistan through CPEC. He said that Pakistan became the largest recipient of FDI from China and largest trading partner with help of CPEC. He said the industrialisation was pre-requisite for economic development and in next five years the setting up of factories into Special Economic Zones (SEZs) would be the priority areas between China and Pakistan.

The first SEZs, he said, would become operational in Rashakai and concession agreement between Chinese company and KP government would be signed soon. He said that all SEZs being established in Pakistan would be open for all other countries. All those who complained about missing train in earlier energy projects now they can catch up for the establishment of entities into upcoming SEZs, he maintained.

He said the CPEC would be expanded to Afghanistan and Iran and the upcoming trilateral meeting scheduled to be held on December 15 at Kabul could become the starting point to move ahead.

He said that people to people contact must be the priority areas. He mentioned that there were more than 67000 students belonging to Korea who are studying in China and Pakistani students were in the range of 22000 at the moment. With population of 50 million, there are more than 1000 flights between China and Korea so Pakistan with population of over 206 million must realise its real potential.

Thanks to CPEC, Gwadar real estate business on the rise

Source: The News International
Published by: N/A

ISLAMABAD: The real estate business in Gwadar is attracting investors from across the country as the city is being considered a business hub in near future soon after the completion of China-Pakistan Economic corridor (CPEC).

The Gwadar Port City is the next best destination for investment in real estate as a huge area of privately-owned land is being utilized for housing societies in the city.

Deputy Director Gwadar Development Authority (GDA), Changez Baloch told APP that real estate prices had been increased manifold during last few months.

He said that business situation in Gwadar is getting change from past, adding; many people are taking interest to invest in the city as their investment is giving good return due to sharp increase of the value of land.

He said the NOCs of all the investors who were violating the rules and regulations of GDA would be canceled, and they would not be able to start development work within the government-stipulated time frame.

He said the GDA was cooperating with investors and taking responsibility for providing municipal services in Gwadar City.

However, the development of housing schemes in the city is also causing problems for the citizens.

A resident of Gwadar Fazal Lashari said that a number of hilly mounds and rain drainage have been disappeared due to leveling of the land.

This developed land has been marked as private property schemes, he added.

Fazal said that the development work in Gwadar is at final stage, adding that everyone in the area is keen to obtain land.

Ghulam Mustafa a real state owner in Gwadar said that the GDA is creating problem in issuing of NOC for real estate investors.

Over the last year, he said the real estate prices in the area immediately surged due to infrastructure development projects being carried out as part of the CPEC.

The increasing prices have also revived the hopes of many other investors to invest in the Gwadar, he revealed.

Sharing the details of problems being faced in the area, he said that the shortage of water creates hurdles for the real estate development in Gwadar.

The developers and builders have to fetch it from Mirani Dam in Kech district, 200 kilometers from Gwadar, he added.

Samad Khan an investor alleged that some of GDA officials manipulate both land prices and allotment processes in order to benefit the people who entice them, he added.

Lamenting on the situation, Samad expressed sorrow that there are ambiguities and errors in land ownership records as the land settlement were done manually.

CPEC will help Pakistan progress only if we band together as a country

It has been five years since an aggressive development plan was initiated in Pakistan. What I am talking about is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the pilot project of BRI. The ambitious road network is scheduled to be completed by 2030.

The first five years are gone. The first phase is successfully accomplished with the completion of several infrastructure and energy projects. Everybody knows that no development project can be completed without considering these two sectors.

Today, Pakistan is on its way to accelerated economic growth. This is a splendid achievement for the government. Just a few years ago, such progress would have sounded ludicrous to Pakistanis.

The second phase of the project is expected to focus on special economic zones (SEZs) in Pakistan. The Pakistan Army played a pivotal role in ensuring security for this mega development project. Every single person in the country is trying to relate themselves to the benefits and outcomes of CPEC. But there is a dire need to understand the nature of collective benefit for the country.

“Today, Pakistan is on its way to accelerated economic growth. This is a splendid achievement. Just a few years ago, such progress would have sounded ludicrous to Pakistanis”

Unfortunately, nationalism has been lacking most of the times whenever it is needed. Nationalism has always been seen only during war times. But when it comes to peacetime and development processes, it becomes irrelevant to the nation. People from all walks of life focus only on their particular vested interests.

CPEC has come up with multiple opportunities and diversified goals. Therefore, the nation needs to be united until the end of this project to get most out of it.

Some of the SEZs planned for the country include, Rashakai Economic Zone (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), China Special Economic Zone (Dhabeji, Sindh), Bostan Industrial Zone (Balochistan), Allama Iqbal Industrial City (Faisalabad, Punjab), ICT Model Industrial Zone (Islamabad), Industrial Park on Pakistan Steel Mills Land at Port Qasim (Karachi), Special Economic Zone (Mirpur, AJK), Mohmand Marble City (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), and Moqpondass SEZ (Gilgit-Baltistan). The project will add a lot more to the economy of Pakistan, including several industries that are sure to boost our economic stability, rate of employment, GDP, and more. CPEC includes a plethora of industrial projects – many of which are needed for a transitional economy to succeed.

Some of the projects have already started, and some need more planning and will be completed later on. The amount of foreign investment coming into the country had been on the rise since 2010.However, since CPEC began in 2014, it has been increasing at a faster rate. This change can be seen below:

It is very important to spread word among the masses about the importance of CPEC. We must come together as a nation now so that we can build a stronger Pakistan.

SOURCE:https://dailytimes.com.pk/254333/cpec-will-help-pakistan-progress-only-if-we-band-together-as-a-country/

Chinese ambassador meets Caretaker PM, briefs him on CPEC

Ambassador of China Yao Jing, Tuesday, called on Caretaker Prime Minister Justice (R) Nasirul Mulk and briefed him about the historic friendly relations that existed between China and Pakistan. He was paying a visit to Prime Minister to congratulate him on his assuming office of the prime minister of Pakistan.
The ambassador while congratulating the premiere briefed him about the various projects under the ongoing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and informed that these projects were going on fast-track and will be completed on their expected time. Ambassador Yao Jing also conveyed greetings from the Chinese leadership to the Prime Minister on assuming office.
He said that China attached great importance to China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership. In recent years, with the joint efforts of both sides, China-Pakistan relations have achieved fruitful results. The CPEC embodies the achievements of the two countries’ mutually beneficial cooperation and marks a new height in China-Pakistan relations.
At the same time, comprehensive exchanges and cooperation in various fields such as economy, trade, people-to-people exchanges and education have been conducted. The two countries have cooperated closely in international and regional affairs, effectively safeguarding the common interests of both parties. China hopes that Pakistan will maintain political stability and complete major domestic political processes smoothly.
China wishes the caretaker government to successfully organize the election, and hopes that the PM and the caretaker government will continue to promote friendly cooperation between China and Pakistan. China believes that regardless of the outcome of the election, China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership will continue to advance. Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk while expressing his gratitude to the Chinese envoy held that both the countries had the same vision of common prosperity and shared destiny of progress of their people.

SOURCE: https://pakobserver.net/chinese-ambassador-meets-caretaker-pm-briefs-him-on-cpec/

Mob attacks historic Ahmadi worship place in Sialkot

KARACHI:  A charged mob consisting of hundreds, including district officials, on Thursday razed two historic Ahmadi sites in Sialkot.

The men razed the sites in the early hours of Thursday claiming that the structures were ‘illegal’.

Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya (JA) press in-charge Aamir Mehmood told The Express Tribune that a 500-strong mob destroyed the Ahmadi worship place Baitul Mubarik and the historic residence of the Jamaat founder.

“[Mirza Ghulam Ahmad] had lived there. We were repairing the house. Municipal authorities, however, objected to this and sealed the structure,” Mehmood added.

At first, only municipal authorities men were vandalising Baitul Mubarik, later scores joined and proceeded to raze the age-old Ahmadiyya sites, a statement issued by JA said. Saleemuddin, another JA representative, further added that it was a tragedy that this incident occurred in the holy month of Ramazan and at such an important site for Ahmadis.

PTI condemns PML-N’s alleged pro-Ahmadi stance

JA and government officials confirmed that ownership of the structures was contested. The Sialkot DC had sealed the house a week ago.

While the structures were attacked early on Thursday, police claimed to have only become aware of the incident later in the morning. Mehmood said legal proceedings were already underway over the dispute.

“Dozens of municipal authority men were part of the mob that razed the structures without any [local administration] or court directive,” Mehmood said.

No one, neither area inhabitants or police personnel, tried to stop the mob from razing the structures, he said. “They continued to vandalise the structures till the early hours of Thursday. They returned once again after offering Fajr prayers,” Mehmood said.

Officials claimed that the strength of the mob was between 150-200 people.

DSP Irfan Butt said 15 to 20 were policemen were on site at the time.

Reiterating the stance of the municipal authorities, police also termed the structure “illegal” and defended the move to seal it.

Ahmadiyya community leader killed in gun attack

Documents available with The Express Tribune, however, show that the Sialkot Municipal authorities confirmed that the sole responsibility for the upkeep of the house lay with JA. The document also states that this would apply up till June 25, 2018. “Municipal authorities will not be responsible for any mishap on the site,” the document reads.

At the same time, an FIR filed on May 13 by TMA Enforcement Inspector Zakaullah states that the changes the owners of the house intended to make were in violation of the sanctioned structure. Zakaullah alleges that this is unlawful under the Punjab Local Government Act.

Separately, footage doing rounds on social media features the men scaling the worship place. Another video shows one of them thanking the Sialkot district for their ‘cooperation’.

“I want to thank the Sialkot administration, the DPO, DC, and Town Municipal Corporation, from the bottom of my heart.”

SOURCE: https://tribune.com.pk/story/1717928/1-mob-razes-historic-ahmadi-property-sialkot/

Transmission system back to ‘normal’ after major power breakdown: Leghari

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Power Division Awais Leghari Wednesday claimed the transmission system had “returned to normal” after a major power breakdown in the country deprived most of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) of electricity earlier today.

Power supply to several cities, including Lahore, Faisalabad, Peshawar, Swat, Multan, Bahawalpur and Muzaffargarh, remained suspended for several hours. The breakdown resulted from tripping of Guddu-Muzaffargarh power line, which led to faults at Tarbela and Guddu power stations, as well as other power plants, a spokesperson for Power Division said.

A spokesperson of the Atomic Energy Commission said the tripping of lines caused all four Chashma Nuclear Power Plants to trip as well causing a major power breakdown.

Around noon, the Power Division stated that electricity had completely been restored in Multan and 80 per cent of Islamabad, with restoration work underway. Its spokesperson said that Ghazi-Barotha hydel plant was also back online.

Speaking to Geo News, Leghari said that power supply was being restored in majority of areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

He said the breakdown resulted from a fault in power transmission line and it was not a shortfall.

“The [transmission] system returned to normal since 5:13pm,” the minister said, adding that it would take another one or two hours in complete restoration of power supply countrywide. He said that Wednesday’s situation did not affect power supply in Karachi.

Leghari further said the demand and supply of electricity was being controlled as per schedule since December 4.

Power breakdown affects hospitals, airport

Patients at Lahore’s Jinnah, Mayo, Gangaram, and Services hospitals faced immense difficulties in the wake of hours-long outage. Several operations were postponed, while medics were forced to conduct check-ups in Out Patient Departments (OPDs) in the dark.

Opposition members walking out of the Punjab Assembly today due to the power outage. Photo: Geo News

The proceedings of the Punjab Assembly were disturbed due to the power breakdown, with opposition members protesting against the government for its failure to fix the country’s power system.

The breakdown also affected the operations at the already-troubled New Islamabad International Airport.

Sources said the offices of airlines, baggage handling and the Airport Security Force base camp, among other areas, were devoid of power.

The loss of power also caused misery for patients and attendants at Rawalpindi’s Benazir Bhutto Hospital, with the public hospital’s generators also failing to give backup supply of electricity.

‘Industrial load-shedding in Punjab from today’

The spokesperson added that from today, industries in Punjab will also face load-shedding of 10 hours.

Reacting to the move, the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association vowed to protest, saying only Punjab’s industries were being denied power for 10 hours a day.

The association said it would meet the finance minister today and then announce its next course of action.

SOURCE: https://www.geo.tv/latest/195662-transmission-system-back-to-normal-after-major-power-breakdown-leghari

Pakistan signs two MoUs with China for gas pipeline, oil refinery

SANYA: Prime Minister of Pakistan Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and PowerChina Limited’s Vice President Li Yanming, on Monday witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Inter-State Gas Systems (ISGS) of Pakistan and Power China for laying of North-South Gas Pipeline.

The pipeline would serve as a secure and continuous supply of affordable gas in areas currently showing increased demand for power generation and industrial use.

The prime minister also witnessed the signing of another MoU between Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and Power China for construction of up-country deep conversion oil refinery and laying of a crude oil pipeline. This project will help in reducing costs of petroleum products currently being transported via road from refineries in southern parts and also ensure uninterrupted supply.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Masood Khalid, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing and senior officials were also present on the occasion.

Earlier on Sunday, the PM stressed the urgent need for global openness as he expressed solidarity with China’s vision of “building a community of shared future for mankind.”

The prime minister said that he will lead a delegation comprising cabinet ministers and senior level officials, which underscores the importance Pakistan attaches to the forum.

The forum, scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, a town in the southern island province of Hainan, will have the theme “An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity,” which Abbasi praised as “not only pertinent but also timely.”

With Asia becoming more integrated and countries in the region forging partnerships in diverse fields including economy, trade, technology, energy, ecology and social sectors, “Openness and inclusivity are indeed the need of the hour,” he stressed.

He spoke highly of the Belt and Road initiative (BRI) as well as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), calling it “a transformative project representing economic cooperation between Pakistan and China.”

He said the BRI is “a truly global public good” as it is designed to impact positively a vast number of people living in geographically distinct areas but bound together by the dream of improved lives, and better access to roads, infrastructure, sustainable energy and better resources.

As the flagship project of the BRI, CPEC epitomises the vision of the two countries for comprehensive and broad-based economic cooperation, said Abbasi.

“The energy projects conceived under CPEC have alleviated the energy crisis in Pakistan and we have been successful in adding thousands of megawatts of electricity to the national grid,” he said.

CPEC energy projects have diversified Pakistan’s energy mix with investments in the country’s hydro, wind, solar and hydrocarbon energy sectors, which is also “a matter of satisfaction” for the prime minister.

The initial phase of the CPEC has done extremely well. A network of roads is under construction, and Gwadar port infrastructure is being developed, he noted.

PM Abbasi said that Pakistan is now looking forward to the next stage of CPEC development, setting up Special Economic Zones, which he believes will not only strengthen the economic and industrial base of the country but also generate thousands of jobs.

Early completion of the road and rail network and modernisation and development of Gwadar Port are also expected to “transform Pakistan from an agrarian economy to a logistics’ hub transporting goods from China to the region and the world.”

CPEC will enhance Pakistan’s connectivity not only with China but with Central and South Asia and beyond, said Abbasi, noting that it will expand bilateral and regional trade, promote economic integration, and foster economic development.

The prime minister also said that President Xi’s concept of “Building a Community of Shared Future for Mankind” is “not only revolutionary but also ties in beautifully with CPEC.”

“Together with China, we look forward to making Pakistan a major contributor to ‘building a community of shared future for mankind’ through CPEC,” he said.

 

SOURCE: https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/04/09/pakistan-signs-two-mous-with-china-for-gas-pipeline-oil-refinery/

CPEC to further enhance growing Pakistan-Iran relations

ISLAMABAD: The Ambassador of Pakistan to Iran Asif Durrani has said that the successful completion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would further boost Pakistan-Iran relations as a transit hub for the region.

He said this during a reception to commemorate the 78th Pakistan’s National Day in Tehran, said a message received here on Wednesday.

Highlighting the myriad challenges that Pakistan faced in recent years, Ambassador Durrani said that Pakistan has sacrificed more than 70,000 of its citizens including armed forces personnel and law enforcement agencies in fighting terrorists and has succeeded in defeating terrorism on its soil.

He said, “Today, there are no safe havens for terrorists on our soil”. Now, Pakistan is on the path of economic progress, it is rated as the most progressive emerging market with GDP growth of 6 per cent this year and projection of 6.5 percent in the coming year, the ambassador said.

Ambassador Durrani lauded the bilateral Pakistan-Iran relations which are getting stronger by the day and said that both countries have displayed exemplary cooperation on many regional and international issues. With 35 per cent increase in bilateral trade since last year, the ambassador expressed hope of attaining $5 billion mark of bilateral trade in the next three years.

Iran’s Interior Minister Fazli, in his speech, extended felicitations to the Government and people of Pakistan on Pakistan’s National Day and lauded commemorating of 70 years of history between Pakistan-Iran relations including cultural, civilisational, religious and historical relations.

The Iranian Interior Minister reiterated the interest of the Supreme Leader of Iran on the expansion and deepening relations with Pakistan and said that it has given further strength to these bonds, which has been followed by all the governments of Iran, especially the present govt of Rouhani.

Fazli hoped that opening of new border points between both the countries would enhance the potential of border markets and border security. The development of Gwadar and Chabahar ports, the signing of FTA and implementation of PTA, establishing banking channels between Pakistan and Iran would bring about economic prosperity for both the neighbours and the region and helps in improving Pakistan-china relations.

At the end of the ceremony, Durrani, Fazli and the dignitaries cut a cake to mark Pakistan- Iran friendship.

SOURCE: https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/04/12/cpec-to-further-enhance-growing-pak-iran-relations/

China provides ‘high-performance tracking system’ for Pakistan’s missile programme

China has sold Pakistan a powerful tracking system in an unprecedented deal that could speed up the Pakistan’s missile programme and military’s development of multi-warhead missiles, according to South China Morning Post.

News of the sale to Islamabad – and evidence that Beijing is supporting rapidly developing Pakistan’s  missile programme – comes two months after India tested its most advanced nuclear-ready intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a range long enough to hit Beijing or Shanghai, the article in the Chinese daily observes.

According to the publication, Chinese authorities declassified information about the deal on Wednesday.

A statement on the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) website said China was the first country to export such sensitive equipment for high performance tracking system for Pakistan’s missile program.

Zheng Mengwei, a researcher with the CAS Institute of Optics and Electronics in Chengdu, Sichuan province, confirmed to the South China Morning Post that Pakistan had bought a highly sophisticated, large-scale optical tracking and measurement system from China.

Alarming arms race among Pakistan, India and China

The country’s military recently deployed the Chinese-made system “at a firing range” for use in testing and developing its new missiles, he said.

India’s January 18 test of its Agni-V ICBM, with a range of more than 5,000km (3,100 miles), is seen as a message that the country can deploy a credible nuclear deterrent against China, and Beijing is determined to counter it.

While the Hindu-majority country’s single-warhead missiles are bigger and cover longer distances, Pakistan has focused its efforts on developing multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs), a type of missile-carrying several nuclear warheads that can be directed towards different targets.

The US Defence Intelligence Agency officially confirmed in March that Pakistan conducted the first test launch of its nuclear-capable Ababeel missile in January 2017, “demonstrating South Asia’s first MIRV payload”.

China’s multi-nuke missile capable of striking anywhere in world to be ready soon

Although the Ababeel missile has a range of only 2,200km, it can deliver numerous warheads to different targets. The technology has the potential to overwhelm a missile defence system, wiping out an adversary’s nuclear arsenal in one surprise attack.

SOURCE: https://tribune.com.pk/story/1666541/9-china-provides-high-performance-tracking-system-pakistans-missile-programme/