Accession Number:



The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and its Effects on Bilateral Cooperation

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Master's Thesis]

Corporate Author:

U.S. Army Command and General Staff College

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



While the United States continued to struggle in the aftermath of the Great Recession in the early 2010s, China unveiled its signature economic and cultural foreign policy platform now known as the Belt and Road Initiative BRI. Using its own economy as a guarantor and operating under numerous state-owned enterprises, Chinas foray into the economic development of other nations exploded under the leadership of Xi Jinping. As the only truly bilateral segment of the BRI, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor CPEC is significant for three reasons. First, it provides China an alternative to the Strait of Malacca for importing raw materials from the Middle East and Africa. Second, it provides an exportable development model that acts as an alternative to the Western idea of liberal democracy before economic prosperity. Third, it ties China closer to Pakistan as a regional counterbalance to India. This monograph examined how CPEC affected bilateral relations in the categories of total trade, per capita GDP growth, UN voting, and statements of mutual support. Through an explanatory sequential mixed methods approach, this monograph determined that CPEC had no statistical significance on bilateral trade surpluses, total trade, UN voting coincidence, or Pakistani per capita GDP increases. However, instead of immediate and measurable increases in economic productivity, both China and Pakistan gain in other ways. For China, they gain access to a strategic naval location in the port city of Gwadar, opportunities to expand their markets for State-Owned Enterprises, and a messaging opportunity to export their developmental model worldwide. Pakistan gains energy self-sufficiency, political stability, and recognition for their claim on Kashmir. Some of these benefits do not reflect in economic data and may require deeper analysis of regional politics.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]