Why is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor such a challenge to India? Conventional wisdom has it that India is worried about CPEC at its two ends: Gwadar, where the Chinese are building a maritime presence, and Pakistan-occupied segments of the former kingdom of Jammu & Kashmir, where Pakistani and Chinese territorial and military frontiers are merging.
However, there is a deeper issue, one that has hitherto underpinned India’s long-term Pakistan strategy. The very fundamentals of that strategy are now under question. Indeed, CPEC is rewriting the economic geography and regional integrity of the subcontinent in a manner that will require more than a tactical, episodic response.
Historically and across the world, trade routes have tended to flow from north to south. There have been exceptions, such as when Britain/northern Europe became an economic power and a significant consumer of commodities, and trade routes moved south to north. Yet, for the most…
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