Beijing offers huge INCC project to India and Nepal on the pattern of CPEC, will replace US military technology for Pakistan
Nation special report
BEIJING: China is following a calculated plan what will give Beijing a well dominated influence in the region and according to strategic observers the plan will lead China towards regional hegemony.
According to informed sources, experiencing some hurdles in completion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Beijing has now decided to construct India-Nepal-China Corridor(INCC) on the same pattern.
The sources referred a report that China on Wednesday proposed construction of India-Nepal-China economic corridor with multi-dimensional connectivity through the Himalayas as it seeks to expand its influence over the new Nepalese government headed by Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, widely regarded as pro-Beijing. China’s proposal came after visiting Nepalese foreign minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali held talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. “Let me say China and Nepal have agreed on long term vision of a multi-dimensional cross Himalaya connectivity network,” Wang told a joint press briefing along with Gyawali after their talks.
Gyawali is on his maiden visit to Beijing after the Oli-led government came to power in recent elections. Wang said China and Nepal have already signed an MoU on the China’s multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which includes connectivity cooperation.
It included a long-term vision such as connectivity network and covering the links between the two countries though ports, railways, highways, aviation, power and communications. “We believe that such a well-developed connectivity network can also create conditions for an economic corridor connecting China, Nepal and India,” Wang said.
“We hope that such cooperation will contribute development and prosperity for all the three countries,” he said. Reacting to a question whether Gyawali’s visit to China was aimed at counterbalancing the recent visit by Oli to India, his first visit abroad after taking over as Prime Minister, Wang sought to make out a case for trilateral cooperation between India, China and Nepal. He said Beijing and New Delhi should facilitate it.
It is further learnt that China is expected to try to persuade external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to revise New Delhi’s outlook towards its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and agree to an economic corridor between China, Nepal and India.
Swaraj is due to visit China on April 22. Talking about China’s plans for Nepal, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday, “We believe that such a well-developed connectivity network can also create conditions for an economic corridor connecting China, Nepal and India.”
He added, “We hope that such cooperation will contribute development and prosperity for all the three countries.” Chinese leaders are encouraged by the enthusiasm expressed by visiting Nepal foreign minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali for projects that include rail, road, energy and telecommunication networks connecting the two countries.
“Let me say China and Nepal have agreed on a longterm vision of a multi-dimensional cross-Himalaya connectivity network,” Wang said at a joint press briefing along with Gyawali. “I have a dream of travelling to China from Nepal on a modern train across the Himalayas and enjoying the scenic beauty,” Gyawali said, adding, “Nepal has expectations on the initiatives to contribute to the development of infrastructure, enhanced cross border connectivity through railways and roads, promotion of trade, tourism and investment, and people-to-people contacts.”
Airports, ports in Pakistan Meanwhile, Asia Times states that Islamabad’s new international airport, whose bill was reportedly partially footed by Beijing and which was built by the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), is all set for operation after a smooth trial run last Saturday in which a Pakistan International Airlines passenger plane touched down on one of the two runways.
Beijing has partially funded the new Islamabad airport built by a Chinese SOE, and a bigger airport is planned for port city of Gwadar slamabad’s new international airport, whose bill was reportedly partially footed by Beijing and which was built by the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), is all set for operation after a smooth trial run last Saturday in which a Pakistan International Airlines passenger plane touched down on one of the two runways. The project was awarded in 2011 to a joint venture of the state-owned Chinese contractor and Pakistani firms through an international tendering process. US military technology Pakistan is gradually reducing its dependence on American military technology and China is filling the gap, says a Financial Times report, which also warns that this shift will have geo-political repercussions as well.
The long, almost 2,000- word report notes that the shift started in the last few months of the Obama administration, when Congress blocked the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan. In Islamabad, this move was seen as a confirmation of Pakistan’s fear that the United States “could no longer be relied on as their armed forces’ primary source of advanced weapons”, the report adds. The shift started in the last few months of Obama administration, when Congress blocked sale of eight F-16s to Islamabad So, Pakistan shifted its focus from F-16s to the JF-17 fighter jets it is developing with China, and which is catching up with the F-16 in terms of capabilities.
The ban accelerated Pakistan’s efforts to shift its “military procurement away from American-made weapons towards Chinese ones, or those made domestically with Chinese support. The report also quotes data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, showing that since 2010, US weapons exports to Pakistan have plummeted from $1 billion to just $21 million last year. During the same period, those from China have also fallen, but much more slowly, from $747m to $514m, making China the biggest weapons exporter to Pakistan.