Pakistan swears by its friendship with China. Pakistan has been saying that the friendship between the two countries is evergreen, it calls China its ‘Iron Brother’. But now such news has come out which is indicating tension between the two countries. China on Tuesday refused to support Pakistan in many areas including energy, water management and climate change under the billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Pakistan’s newspaper The Express Tribune, citing the 11th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of CPEC signed between the two countries, reported that Pakistan, which is facing shortage of foreign exchange reserves, has decided to build a new coal-based power plant in Gwadar, Balochistan province. Has given up his opposition regarding. Pakistan was earlier adamant on building this plant in Thar. Pakistan has also agreed to many of China’s demands to address its concerns.
JCC is the body of CPEC which takes its strategic decisions. Its 11th meeting was held on October 27 last year on the request of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led government.
Agreement reached between China and Pakistan one year after the meeting
The report said that almost a year after the meeting, on July 31, the terms of the 11th JCC of the two countries were agreed upon and an agreement was signed. In the minutes of this agreement, there were disagreements between the two parties on many issues due to which there was so much delay in reaching a consensus. China refused to cooperate on many issues proposed by Pakistan, which caused a big blow to Pakistan.
Regarding this delay, Pakistan’s Planning Ministry said that it is a global practice that the minutes of meetings between two countries are signed by both the parties only after proper consultation and consensus.
The report said that interestingly, the final draft that Pakistan shared with China and the agreement signed at the last moment by both the parties were very different. That is, China almost changed it by expressing disagreement on many issues.
China expressed disagreement on many issues
The report said that in the agreement, China has not agreed to cooperate in the areas of energy, water management and climate change under CPEC. This shows that Pakistan’s efforts to deepen economic relations with China are facing many challenges.
The contents of the 11th JCC agreement show that China did not agree with the measures proposed by Pakistan in the areas of Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, PoK and energy, water management, climate change and tourism in the country. China removed cooperation in the areas of cross-border tourism in Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, PoK and cooperation in promoting coastal tourism from the final agreement.
China also did not agree to Pakistan’s proposal to include water resources management and climate change and urban infrastructure development in the CPEC framework. Pakistan had proposed that a new joint working group be established on water resources management and climate change, which was rejected by China.
China also shied away from the financial challenges faced by Pakistan’s power companies. China also did not agree to the proposal to include a 500kv transmission line from El Hub to Gwadar to connect Gwadar to the national grid in the CPEC framework.
Pakistan bowed before China
Pakistan had also proposed that China cooperate with it in earthquake related studies and also share its equipment with Pakistan, which China refused.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has given major concessions to China to build 300 MW Gwadar Power Plant.
Pakistan wanted this project to be built in Thar instead of Gwadar so that the local coal there could be used in the plant. But China did not agree due to which Pakistan had to bow down before China and now the work of the power plant is going on as per the instructions of China.
India opposes China’s CPEC project
China’s CPEC project is worth $60 billion which connects Gwadar port in Balochistan of Pakistan to Xinjiang province of China. CPEC is a major project of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
India has been opposing China’s CPEC project because the project passes through Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).