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Economy

Mishandled China-Pakistan Economic Corridor could misfire

Islamabad may be attempting too much, too fast amid mounting debt problems

| China
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Gwadar Port, a key project in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, in Gwadar, Pakistan in 2016   © Reuters

It has been a tumultuous two years in Pakistan and China's regional interactions. Since it was launched on April 20, 2015, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has sparked praise, skepticism, and even violence. The result is widespread confusion about what is driving this $55 billion energy and infrastructure effort, and how it will impact the region.

Praise has been heaped on the initiative by leaders of both countries. In a speech to Pakistan's parliament two years ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping described CPEC as central to an "all-weather strategic cooperative partnership." The China-Pakistan friendship, he said, is "higher than the mountain, deeper than the sea, and sweeter than honey."

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