Athough CPEC offers more opportunities to Pakistan given the global connectivity of trade and investment expanded by China, yet the major question is how Pakistan and China can bring this vision into reality keeping in view the changing geopolitics in the South Asian region.
China’s reemergence in the 21st century has led to a gradual change in the historical consciousness of Chinese leaders who are more willing to celebrate the glories of imperial China, reconstructed as the benevolent center of East Asia, so as to advance the agenda of China’s rise.
Facing the dilemma of having to handle “two Chinas,” “One China, One Taiwan” or “Taiwan independence,” Beijing’s One-China principle appeared a few months before the signing of a mutual defense treaty between Washington and Taipei in December 1954.
Deng Xiaoping, having witnessed in the early 1990s the fall of communist regimes in eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, correctly analysed that the regimes’ downfalls were due to their inability to develop their economies and provide welfare for their people.
In the revived contemporary interest in the Maritime Silk Road, narratives about Zheng He may become part of the current discourse on Chinese plans to revive the maritime trading route which spans cities from China to Italy.
An effect of the warming relations between China and the Philippines has been the de-emphasis in Manila of the South China Sea dispute. This de-escalation of tensions has brought a surge of Chinese investment, as well as possible Sino-Philippine joint exploration of resources in the South China Sea.
Southeast Asia straddles both the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road, and the projects promise to stimulate economic development and trade in the participating nations. China and ASEAN seek to raise their trade to USD 1 trillion by 2020.
Does US President Donald Trump have in mind two Chinas; One China, One Taiwan; or Taiwanese independence? If the US abandons the One China policy before a peaceful Chinese reunification, the situation in East Asia will be unstable.
Sino-Japanese relations, a cyclical process alternating between pragmatic separation of economics and politics and a deep freeze with articulated announcements signifying tensions, have recently seen pessimistic and realist perspectives come into play.
In January 2017 during the 20th China-Philippines Foreign Ministry Consultation, the two countries confirmed that they would complete the Code of Conduct framework relating to the South China Sea in the first half of 2017.