Chinese president Xi Jinping announced “One Belt, One Road” policy in 2013. It is a long term transnational strategy to connect Asia, Africa and Europe through a network of highways, railways and ports. China took this initiative to access markets as china is the second largest economy and the emerging superpower. “One Belt, One Road” policy consists of mainly two parts. One is “New Silk Road” and the other is “Maritime Silk Road.” This strategy is inspired from the ancient “Silk Route.” In past, Chinese Silk was transported to European Markets from one country to another. So, “the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” is part of “One Belt, One Road” policy.
Due to Gwadar’s strategic importance, the CPEC was under consideration since long. Ex-president Pervaz Musharaf proposed this project during his tenure, though it could not be materialized owing to the deteriorating law and order situation of the country. During PPP’s government, Singapore was handling the Gwadar port. The then President Asif Zardari took the initiative and cancelled the contract with Singapore that was dealing with the development of the port.
After cancellation of contract, it was signed with China. In 2013 Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Pakistan. Both the countries signed Memorandum of understanding (MoU) and Gawdar port’s development and operations were handed over to china.
2015 was a landmark period for the history of the two countries. Chinese President Xi Jinping made a historic visit to Pakistan in April of the same year. During his visit, Pakistan and China signed 51 Memoranda of understanding (MoUs) of 46 billion dollars. It is the largest ever Foreign Direct investment (FDI) in the country. It encompasses building of huge infrastructure development, roads, restructuring of railways, energy projects, etc. CPEC will begin from Gwadar’s deep sea port to Kashgar, Chinese Xinjiang province.