The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor or CPEC is a $62 billion connectivity project linking China’s landlocked Xinjiang region with Pakistan’s Arabian Sea coast.
Formally launched in 2015, CPEC builds off of robust bilateral relations between Beijing and Islamabad that go back to the 1950s.
CPEC marks a new phase in the China-Pakistan partnership, adding an economic dimension to a relationship that had largely been diplomatic and strategic.
Similarly, the envisioned CPEC rail and road networks build off of Pakistan’s existing infrastructure, leveraging rail lines and roads that are operational or under construction, or replacing them with upgraded versions.
Prominent among these include: the Karakoram Highway that links the Xinjiang region in China with Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region and the Gwadar port along the Arabian Sea.
Here’s a concise pre-history of CPEC, up to its formal launch in 2015.