CPEC: Will India Start War With Pakistan And China Over It?

CPEC: Will India Start War With Pakistan And China Over It?
Pakistan / Pixabay

With China and Pakistan actively working on the CPEC, the uptick of irresponsible propaganda pieces coming from politicians and analysts – originating mostly from India – shows no sign of stopping.

India, Pakistan’s traditional rival, has a number of issues with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is seen as a game-changer for Pakistan, China and Asia as a whole. China and Pakistan’s cooperation on the project has sparked numerous propaganda pieces throwing mud at the CPEC.

China’s embassy in Islamabad has already slammed the rise of propaganda pieces directed at thwarting the CPEC, calling the situation “really shameful.” As Beijing and Islamabad make huge progress on the CPEC, their close cooperation continues proving anti-CPEC analysts wrong.

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The CPEC is a 3,000-kilometer network of roads, railways and pipelines that connects Kashgar and Gwadar, passing through Pakistani regions disputed by India. India and Pakistan claim Kashmir as their own territory and have already waged three wars over it. While the recently re-ignited tensions over the region result in casualties almost every day despite the ceasefire, some experts believe that India’s grievances over the CPEC might lead to a direct military confrontation.

Anti-CPEC propaganda pieces are wrong

Panos Mourdoukoutas, a contributor for Forbes, believes that the anti-CPEC propaganda is wrong. Mourdoukoutas argues that China has to either appease India or “forget” about the CPEC project.

A number of Indian government officials have expressed their concerns about the CPEC since the project was announced more than three years ago. And while India, as alleged by Pakistan, has made numerous attempts to disrupt the project, the chances that India might actually start a war with China and Pakistan over the project remain zero.

In fact, former Indian Ambassador Melkulangara Bhadrakumar said India would “lose heavily” if it remained opposed and isolated from the CPEC. However, numerous Indian government officials believe the CPEC is designed to undermine India’s position in the region and see the project as a threat to India’s interests.

While that creates tensions between China and Pakistan on one side and India on the other, authors of anti-CPEC propaganda pieces seem unable to provide at least one legitimate reason as to why India would go to war with China and Pakistan over the project.

China will protect the CPEC at all costs, as the project is worth a whopping $46 billion and is a game-changer for both China and Pakistan. Disrupting the project would mean a direct declaration of war to China and Pakistan, and India knows it.

This past summer, the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations suggested that Beijing will have “to get involved” if New Delhi attempts to disrupt the project.

China is more attractive to investors than India

In his piece arguing that China is lagging behind India in terms of investments, Mourdoukoutas provides data that suggests India’s economic growth is set to outpace China. Although India currently enjoys the rise of its economy, the country is becoming less attractive for investors in the long run. The reason is because India is a “highly crowded trade,” as said by Herald van der Linde, head of Asia Pacific equity strategy for HSBC’s Asia Equity Insights Quarterly.

“High fund holdings, premium valuations and slow pace of reforms make us reluctant to enter the market,” van der Linde wrote, adding that India’s earnings growth expectations are also slowing down.

Will India go to war with China and Pakistan over the CPEC?

In his article, Mourdoukoutas also suggests, “If pro-Indian forces in Pakistan sabotage China’s CPEC route,” China should expect an open confrontation against India.

Mourdoukoutas also argues that this is why Beijing “should either appease New Delhi or forget about CPEC altogether.”

An open military confrontation between the world’s two most populous countries is very unlikely, especially considering the fact that India has already made several large-scale attempts to sabotage the CPEC. Earlier this year, Pakistan alleged it had arrested a spy from India’s RAW, Kulbhushan Yadav. Islamabad believes that Yadav is responsible for hindering the implementation of CPEC projects in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.

The scandal spurred numerous high-ranking Pakistani officials to criticize India for its attempts to disrupt the CPEC via espionage. In April, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif openly accused India’s primary foreign intelligence agency – RAW – of attempting to disrupt the implementation of various CPEC projects.

International players keen on investing in Pakistan

India has no hard evidence that would suggest the CPEC is a direct threat to it. New Delhi wouldn’t get involved in a military confrontation over nothing. And while India indeed has a lot to lose if it remains isolated from the project, New Delhi wouldn’t get involved in the project as a matter of principle, as India has territorial disputes with both China and Pakistan, the co-creators of the lucrative project.

Although the project is still underway, Pakistan is already becoming a place of high interest for investment opportunities. Several countries, including Afghanistan, Russia and Kazakhstan, are taking interest in investing in the CPEC.

On Thursday, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif invited Turkish investors to benefit from the CPEC during a Pak-Turk roundtable conference in Islamabad with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey and Pakistan are strengthening their economic ties, which is why if Turkey invests in the CPEC, it would further expand their economic relations and be beneficial for both countries.

France is also taking a huge interest in Pakistan. The embassy head of France’s Regional Economic Department for India and South Asia, Jean Marc Fenet, recently said that France views Pakistan as a huge market for business.

CPEC enables China to monitor Indian and American naval activities

There’s also a widespread theory which suggests that thanks to the CPEC, the Gwadar seaport could turn into China’s naval base in the Indian Ocean. Thus, China would be able to monitor Indian and U.S. naval activities, which Beijing perceives as a threat to its interests.

There are a number of other benefits for China as well. Access to the Indian Ocean would also enable China’s naval warships and merchant ships to bypass Malacca Strait. Thus, China would be able to, once and for all, solve its Malacca Dilemma. Today about 80% of all oil from China is transported by ships from the Strait of Malacca to Shanghai.

The distance between the two destinations amounts to over 16,000 km, while it takes ships two to three months to reach the destination. Having access to the Indian Ocean via Gwadar would reduce that distance to less than 5,000 km.

The CPEC, which will link China with nearly half of the world’s population, will also ensure safe passage of China’s shipments through the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea.

Pakistan also has a lot to gain from the project, as it’ll finally all ease its energy shortages. The project will also bring greater cohesion in South Asia.

Updated on

Polina Tikhonova is a writer, journalist and a certified translator. Over the past 7 years, she has worked for a wide variety of top European, American, Russian, and Ukrainian media outlets. Polina holds a Master's Degree in English Philology from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Saint Petersburg State University. Her articles and news reports have been published by many newspapers, magazines, journals, blogs and online media sources across the globe. Polina is fluent in English, German, Ukrainian and Russian.
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  1. The Asian Terrorist will just try to divert the attention of Pakistan from western border towards eastern border. Both the eastern route and western route are just about to be completed only the new road network which will pass through Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will take some time however the trade is still taking place via current road network. And BTW , there is no original or proposed alternate route. There are just two routes as such a large trade cannot take place via just one western or eastern route. All Pakistan needs to do is de-port all Afghans or send back all Afghan refugees and secure the border with Afghanistan as all the terrorists and suicide bombers are coming from Afghanistan. If India will not end its support to free Balochistan terrorists than India might lose Kashmir.

  2. Learn some English comprehension, after that check if you’re dyslexic or not. Finally, when you’re done, revise my comment until you understand what I wrote. You’re deliberately resorting to personal attacks and you don’t even understand what you’re writing, at least do a favor and learn English before you start typing comments or posting replies. Mind your tongue, you are again resorting to personal attacks – which is immature behavior.

  3. India is playing very negative role in the regional peace matters. Better economy is right of every country. India uses bombs and rented Afghan suicide bombers to hit Pakistani areas, public places, civilians to stop CPEC. This is all because of their Hindu Taliban PM Modi.

    PM of India Mr. Modi was accused to killed 2200 MUslims in Indian Gujrat where he was Chief Minister. Modi was not allowed to enter Canada before becoming PM of India due to murder charges.

    Pakistani Kashmir is peaceful. People of Pakistani Kashmir have their own parliament, PM and President.

    Otherside in Indian Occupied Kashmir there are 700.000 Indian soldiers are deployed in an area smaller than German state Bavaria. You can imagine how people in Kashmir live there. In Past few months Indian Army has killed more than 130 Jammu Kashmiris. It is now 5th month continuous Curfew going on.

    There is United Nations resolution on Kashmir but it has been never implemented. According to UN resolution people of Jammu & Kashmir should get right to vote if they want to live with Pakistan or India. But India till today never let people to vote. Army has raped thousands Kashmiri women and more than 70.000 Kashmiris are missing.

    United Nations must accept Pakistan’s request and send fact finding mission to Indian Kashmir.

    People of world must condemn India for violating serious human rights in Jammu and Kashmir.


  4. lol trust a pakistani to meddle with the words to twist into their argument.

    Whatever I said about the author is for her past articles. Just go and look at them.. talking about world war 3 and spreading hatred among each other with twisted facts.

  5. Indian logic.

    *Its propaganda if it doesn’t portray India in a positive light*

    Cause we all know, India is the most righteous country in history. Shame on you, for attacking the reporter.

  6. Azad Kashmir is a part of Pakistan. No force in the world can take it. Kashmiris are some of the post patriotic Pakistanis.

    India has a much greater chance of losing its occupied Kashmir. Where you will find chants of freedom and the waving of Pakistans flag in front of Indian armed forces.

    The fact that India has over 500k-700k armed forces in IOK tells you all you need to know.

  7. India has been waging a proxy war in Pakistan for some time now. Now has CPEC becomes more and more a reality, India will continue to increase its efforts.

    A stable Pakistan has never been in the interest of India.

  8. Woah be right there alpha male! I have not resorted to any personal attack, you should look into the mirror before you go into that topic, judging by your past comments.
    There is a old saying – “If you get into a fight with a pig in mud, the pig is just going to enjoy and you are just going to get mud on you”. I am not going to get in mud with you. Good day Sir!

  9. its a time to get back POk from Pakistan.. one war is needed ..if china interfere in our internal matter then f..k them hard in south china sea also

  10. china must get over from there from gilgit batalik or pok..dont try to poke her nose in the matter of india and pakistan.. like china has with Philippine at south china sea ..china will pay heavy cost playing with India sovereignty ..this is last warning to china get lost from Indian territory which has been occupied by Pakistan

  11. Don’t forget India massacred its own Sikh citizens in ‘ Operation Blue Star ‘ where they used tanks to bomb Golden Temple. Indians show no respect for others religion.

  12. Indians are damn stupid. Always love to sabotage others’ progress although it never gained any benefit. Why India picks 2 of its largest neighbor countries as enemies ? That will makes India spend huge resources in fighting with Pakistan and China which will not return any benefit for its huge population.

    India will remain a poor country forever. Indians’ mentality will not allowed them to be more successful than others in life.

  13. @Raghu I don’t really care about what’s happening. But, resorting to personal attacks rather than answering him directly or providing any proper feedback. Isn’t that a bit too under-the-belt tactic? Typical Indian scums, always out to attack anyone which questions Indian hypocrisy. At least give a proper response to @Kent.

  14. I was going to type out a succinct and well thought out response but then realized it isn’t worth the time to debate with someone who likes his own comment.

  15. Panos Mourdoukoutas posts propaganda from Forbes. While you claim this piece is a lie. How silly of you, sabotaging another country’s project, but as soon as your caught you claim it’s propaganda. American media is notorious for lies, it’s well documented.

  16. If India manages to interfere in China’s project which is necessary for faster trade and benefit all investors too and that China loses it’s $46 Billion investment it won’t end well for the India (and most likely many of China and Pakistan’s allies will do something to teach India and it’s posse a lesson). While, Mr. Mourdoukoutas since being integral in journalism is an important (in American journalism there is no such thing as integrity or truth) – while making propaganda pieces to sabotage another countries hard-work, investment and the sweat and blood of it’s labour is actually working with Satan himself. Since you’re writing lies, Mr. Panos Mourdoukoutas you need to clean up your act otherwise some countries might retaliate.

  17. Although Mr Mourdoukoutas article may sound little biased but this article is an outright anti India propaganda piece. Every detail given in the article was twisted by the author to present India in the negative shade. Just one look at authors past articles and headlines will let you know what a shady writer she is writing bombastic headlines and spreading animosity. Its shameful that valuewalk would hire some one like her who doesn’t even deserve to be called a reporter presenting biased and contorted facts. Shame on you!

  18. What a stupid article. Runs like a chinese propaganda piece. What about the rights of the baloch?

    China a better investment decision than India? Reason: India is a crowded trade based on some run of the mill strategy report by HSBC.

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