in: Contemporary South Asia 18 Sep 2019 (Online)
China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key artery of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), has attracted the attention of researchers and policymakers within and outside Pakistan. A blend of investment-loangrant model of over US$ 46 billion, CPEC contains projects aimed at building energy and communication infrastructure and industrial zones. Based on the analysis of primary and secondary data, this study aims to answer two questions: first, what are the main socio-economic or geostrategic prospects of CPEC for Pakistan and China? Second, are there any constraints and challenges in the implementation of CPEC projects and how are these going to be addressed? The paper examines CPEC’s potential in bringing about socio-economic development in Pakistan and its financial and geostrategic significance for China. It also explores key constraints related to the fragile security situation and the potential of CPEC to further exacerbate the geopolitical situation in the region, particularly in South Asia, where it could intensify tension between Pakistan and India as the latter perceives CPEC as a Chinese geopolitical and security project. In addition, the long-term financial implications of CPEC are assessed, with particular focus on its potential to become a debt trap for Pakistan in the long run.