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CPEC : Diplomatic debt-trap or economic game-changer for South Asia?

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Royal Asiatic Society

14 Stephenson Way

Lecture Hall

London

NW1 2HD

United Kingdom

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The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a crucial component of China's much-hyped One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, remains a hot topic internationally since its announcement in 2015. The project estimated to be around $50 billion USD consists of extensive investment in developing Pakistan’s telecommunications, transport and energy infrastructure.

The CPEC is projected to extend about 3,000 km, connecting Kashgar in China’s north-western Xinjiang province with the south-western Pakistani port of Gwadar. A significant portion of the corridor will lie in Gilgit-Baltistan, part of the disputed territory of Kashmir between India and Pakistan. The stiff opposition from protesters in Gilgit-Baltistan and India's non-participation in this project questions the likelihood of drawing the promised benefits from this project.

With global economies being motivated to invest in this project, can a return on their investment be guaranteed? Will this project build a stronger regional cooperation or leave investing economics and Pakistan burdened with unserviceable debt? This panel discussion brings you experts to shed light on the legal, geopolitical, economic and environmental impacts of the CPEC, and understand whether it is diplomatic debt-trap or economic game-changer for its investors.

Date: 15th Dec 2017

Time: 17:30-19:00

Venue: Lecture Hall, Royal Asiatic Society, London NW1 2HD

Speakers:

  • Dr. Filippo Boni is a Teaching Fellow at the Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham. He completed his Ph.D. from the University of Nottingham on 'Civil-military relations in Pakistan: an analysis of Sino-Pakistani ties 2001-2016'. He was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship for Research Excellence from the University of Nottingham and Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies (IAPS) Tomlinson Scholarship. He has authored several papers and presented his work at a number of fora including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's South Asia Advisory Board Meeting chaired by the Prime Minister's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

  • Junaid Qureshi is the Director of the European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) based in Amsterdam. An EU accredited, leading independent Think-Tank and policy research institution. He is also a writer and a columnist for Kashmiri, Indian and Pakistani newspapers on topics ranging from Terrorism, Human Rights, the Kashmir-issue and Geo-Politics of the Subcontinent. Known as a staunch supporter of the rights of the minorities of Jammu and Kashmir, he believes in a path of reconciliation based on the fundamentals of introspection. He has been a regular speaker at the United Nations, European Parliament and other international platforms. He is known for his no-nonsense and bold views.

  • Troy Sternberg is the John Fell Research Fellow in the School of Geography, University of Oxford. He completed his D.Phil. at the University of Oxford where he received the British Academy Post Doctoral Fellowship for research on Climate Hazards in the Gobi Desert. He was awarded a Leverhulme Grant, the Royal Geographical Society’s Thesiger-Oman International Desert Fellowship, a Fulbright scholarship and was the UK-China Visiting Scholar to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Sternberg organised a 3-year project with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and works with the Mongolian Institute of Geography. He was recently selected for the European Union Cooperation in Science and Technology - Arid Lands Restoration and Combating Desertification programme.

  • Burzine Waghmar, based University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) is affiliated with the Centre for the Study of Pakistan, Centre for Iranian Studies, SOAS South Asia Institute and London Middle East Institute. He is an honorary fellow of the European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS), Netherlands. His reports on the provincial insurgency and on-going Pakistani violations of Baloch human rights have been presented at the United Nations, Geneva; House of Lords, London; and Amnesty International, London. As consultant, commentator and external auditor, Burzine's oral expertise (radio, TV) and written submissions (commissioned reports, depositions, briefings) publised or presented at internatinal agenceis and media, range over the cultural history, religions, and socio-political conditions of minorities (both confessional and ethno-linguistic) of Iran and the Indian subcontinent, with particular focuses on HUMINT (intelligence, insurgency and counter-terrorism) across Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.

  • Dr. Shabir Choudhry, born in Pakistani administered Kashmir, has championed the human rights of citizens of Jammu and Kashmiri across the LOC. He was the founder member of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front and served as its Press Secretary, and later as General Secretary and President. He is also a founder member & Director of the Institute of Kashmir Affairs; and Chairman South Asia Watch, London. He is author of many books on Jammu and Kashmir and India – Pakistan relations. In the last 12 months, he has published 'Kashmir Dispute, Terrorism and Pakistan', 'Kashmir Dispute, Pakistan and the UN Resolutions' and 'Is CPEC Economic Corridor or a Strategic Game Plan?'

Please note, this is a TICKET ONLY event. If you do not have a ticket, you will not able to attend. If you have a ticket but cannot attend, please cancel your ticket to make it available for another person.

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Royal Asiatic Society

14 Stephenson Way

Lecture Hall

London

NW1 2HD

United Kingdom

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