Why China’s multi-billion CPEC project is under threat in Pakistan
The multi-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project in Gwadar port off the coast in Pakistan could be under threat if a catastrophe strikes the region, according to experts.
Gwadar, which is located close to the Makran Trench, last saw a huge earthquake of 8.1 magnitudes in 1945, which triggered a tsunami that battered Iran, Pakistan, Oman and India and killed around 4,000 people. The trench is the meeting point for two tectonic plates.
To prevent such a catastrophe, a team of 40 researchers from China and Pakistan boarded the Experimental 3 vessel for the trench last month and did a ‘CT scan’ (geological survey) in the region. However, not much is known about the zone, the South China Morning Post reported.
The Gwadar port has been leased to China for 40 years and any potential disaster in the area could undermine Beijing’s ambitions to revive the ancient trade route from China through Asia to Africa and Europe.
The CPEC project is also a part of China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, a vast infrastructure and trade programme to project China’s infrastructural dominance abroad.
Seismologist Yang Hongfeng, from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said scientific expeditions in the region were quite rare.
‘A lot of important scientific …read more