Pakistan should seek Western support to counter Chinese economic influence

By: Jianli Yang and Bradley A. Thayer – Nov 15, 2022

A major problem of less developed countries is that their dependence on commodities lends itself to greater corruption — the so-called natural resource curse. Resources in the ground are there to be exploited and require only control of the ground above them to monetize them. The technology is relatively fixed and offers people in these countries few opportunities to better themselves and their nations by moving into more sophisticated economic activities.

What is true for commodities is also for strategic territory. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a 3,000-kilometer sea- and land-based project aimed at creating safe passage for energy and oil transport, is a classic case of how China’s economic influence has created difficulties for Pakistan due to its dependence on Beijing.

Cutting through the well-meant wordage that poured out after Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited Beijing and met with President Xi Jinping, it is easy to discern that China, on reviewing what CPEC has achieved so far, has become acutely cautious of… [Continue Reading]