1st Edition

China, Pakistan and the Belt and Road Initiative The Experience of an Early Adopter State

Edited By Pascal Abb, Filippo Boni, Hasan H. Karrar Copyright 2024
    176 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Pakistan occupies an elevated role in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and hosts its ‘flagship’ project, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It has attracted the largest volume of investments under the BRI and opened itself comprehensively to its transformative potential. This book provides a comprehensive analysis of CPEC’s impact on Pakistan’s economy, politics, and society, covering its developmental benefits as well as resulting controversies.

    Interdisciplinary and international experts capture the complexity of CPEC, presenting new empirical data in the form of interviews, archival materials, and documentary evidence. Covering topics ranging from agriculture to the environment, gender to security, they focus on local outcomes challenging prevalent narratives about the BRI as a strategic, China-driven vehicle to transform other countries in its image. They argue that examples like CPEC should be understood as interactive processes between China and its international partners, which produce interdependent relations between them. Beyond the case of CPEC, these findings contribute to the burgeoning field of ‘Global China’, through a comprehensive yet granular assessment of the first ten years of the BRI’s flagship project.

    This book will be of interest to scholars of area studies, regionalization, international relations and development studies, as well as China studies and South Asia studies focused on the most important and far-reaching national-level implementation of the BRI to date.


    Katherine Adeney

    1. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor at Ten: Taking Stock of the Belt and Road’s “Flagship” Project

    Pascal Abb, Filippo Boni, and Hasan H. Karrar

    2. Pakistan’s Political Settlement and the Prospect of Industrial Development under CPEC

    Muhammad Tayyab Safdar

    3. Agriculture and Chinese Agribusiness Investments in the Context of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

    Michael Spies

    4. CPEC and De-Democratization in Pakistan

    Gul-i-Hina van der Zwan

    5. The Securitization of CPEC

    Zahid Shahab Ahmed

    6. BRI and Ethno-Regional Conflicts: A Case Study of CPEC in Balochistan

    Rafiullah Kakar

    7. China-Pakistan Relations, Gender and the China Pakistan Economic Corridor

    Eram Ashraf

    8. People-to-People Contact under CPEC: Fact or Fiction?

    Saba Shahid


    Pascal Abb is a senior researcher at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, focusing on how a rising China is interacting with global conflict environments. His research on this issue has been published in the Journal of Contemporary China, Third World Quarterly, Pacific Affairs, and others.

    Filippo Boni is a senior lecturer at The Open University in the UK. He is the author of Sino-Pakistani Relations. Politics, Military and Regional Dynamics (Routledge, 2019) and his research has been published in The British Journal of Politics and International Studies, Asian Survey, Regional and Federal Studies and Asia Policy, among others.

    Hasan H. Karrar is an Associate Professor at Lahore University of Management Sciences. His research on Chinese international engagement appeared as The New Silk Road Diplomacy: China’s Central Asian Foreign Policy since the Cold War (UBC Press, 2010) and more recently in Antipode, Comparative Studies in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and Modern Asian Studies, and other scholarly outlets.

    "An indispensable volume for analyzing not only the infrastructural politics of development in Pakistan - but also for developing a grounded understanding of the geopolitics and geopolitical economy of China's ascent in the world system."

    Majed AkhterKing’s College London, UK

    “This volume draws together case studies on CPEC that focus on the macro and the micro, and thus enriches our understanding of the whole. The case studies in this volume are invaluable for understanding the bigger picture.”

    Katherine AdeneyUniversity of Nottingham, UK