See this video from 4:53 featuring an analyst from IRIS named Olivier Guillard.

Can anyone explain the logic thrown by this analyst?

Anchor: How did this idea come about for Pakistan and China to have such an ambitious project when does it date back to?

Guillard: Well, if we take the big look what was the case a few years ago, I mean, this is a long bilateral story between these two countries. They are two real major Asian allies for decades if not for alpha centuries of if more and at the moment we have a country Pakistan that is very in the dark side of the international community. no one wants to go there. There is an internal security, terrorism, radicalization, Pakistani Taliban, pretty complicated game as well played by the Pakistan in Afghanistan. Tensions with India. Who wants to go and move to this country? No one is specifically companies, North American companies are no longer willing to go there.

Anchor: So, why is China willing then, considering the security considerations and because of corruption?

Guillard: Because, Pakistan is a neighbor, a very important neighbor. China has very complicated relations with India. Pakistan has very complicated, to say the least, relations with India. It creates some bridges and bounds between the two countries, and by the way this is a market Pakistan is 200 million people. Most of them are living much below the poverty line but still this is a market with a good governance, with a state of peace, and not state of war would be in a position to do something very significant. So, it could be in a economic situation that could benefit china obviously but still at the moment problem with securities that's the case. However, Pakistan would benefit from this huge investment in the short term and in the long term.

Anchor: It's getting roads, it's getting highways, ports ...

Guillard: Electricity. yes, powers, without powers you cannot get access to electricity, to water. I mean, this is a country where most of the people are living in the countryside. So, agriculture needs water then electricity. Only China is willing to provide the money to modernize infrastructure. So, it's a major. Of course, China wants to benefit from that. The benefits, if it's not today should be tomorrow in economic terms. But, in diplomatic and political terms, may be more important for China. China wants to be in Asia. It's already the case. The power that is supposed to eventually dictate terms softly, or less softly in the long term but still it needs to rely on allies. Pakistan is a perfect ally on that. And, then when China provides assistance to Pakistan, Pakistan also .... bla bla bha ... (I am bored to death).

Looks like this guy is not answering the actual question, and just throwing his rants around. Anyways, I want to pose the same question the anchor threw already.

Why are Western countries not investing in Pakistan, considering the security considerations and corruption while China is not bothered?

If China can be there in Pakistan, a country which is at the dark side (not a super-villain) of the international community, why don't other countries want to be there, especially those North American companies?

Don't Chinese people value their lives? Don't they consider corruption to be a problem to do business?

  • 2
    Why would "corruption" be a factor? It's probably easier to do business in such countries, at least as long as your home country doesn't have laws about paying bribes &c. As for why China wants to be there, consider long-term strategy WRT India.
    – jamesqf
    May 19, 2018 at 1:58
  • short version IMHO: 1) gain and maintain access to the Indian Ocean; 2) keep India at bay
    – Drux
    Nov 23, 2018 at 22:52

2 Answers 2


Pakistan is one of the most important planks in China's One Belt One Road initiative which is it's plan to improve infrastructure along the old silk road routes to greatly increase its ability in international trade.

Pakistan is a key link in this because of the possibility to build transport infrastructure from the China-Pakistan border to ports Pakistan, which cuts out a huge shipping detour through the south China sea, around Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, and through the Indian ocean. This is known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. As an additional benefit, given the high tensions between India and China, it isn't hard to see why China would be interested in closer ties with India's main enemy as well as circumventing India's ability to interfere in Chinese maritime trade.

And this is a government driven Chinese infrastructure project, necessitated by Chinese geopolitical concerns, not private Chinese companies trying to make money.

The USA (and the West in general) had no such imperatives requiring it to have a presence in Pakistan. It did (or chose to imagine it did) post 9-11, as a necessary logistical supply route to support US forces in Afghanistan, despite serious disagreements with Pakistan's own policies in Afghanistan. This is still true to an extent: as long as the US wants to maintain a non-negligible presence of Afghanistan (it still has 15,000 troops there as of March 2018), in needs the Pakistan supply corridor.

But again, this is government mandated involvement, not private companies. From a western point of view, private companies can do business in Pakistan if they choose to given the risks and expenses involved.


In addition to the One Belt One Road (OBOR), China also understands that a key factor in influence is something to lose, if you don't like the power. If we accept that the Chinese view Pakistan as corrupt (is this the Chinese view or Western view?), the Chinese cannot have influence over a country if the country has nothing to lose.

Compare the Chinese approach to the US approach with sanctions and isolation of Russia: Russia has become the world's largest grain producer since sanctions, added to their gold position, reduced their debt, increased trade with China, and built a large foreign currency reserve. In fact, because the US is sanctioning Russia, it's made Russia companies more competitive at home because US companies can't compete in Russia. Has this helped? If you live in the West, you probably think it's working well. If you live in China, you know the answer - this is what the Chinese see as a failure because Russia has increased its independence away from the US and its system.

The Chinese want a successful trade initiative (OBOR) and alienating countries that they may view as corrupt to some extent won't help (assuming they see Pakistan as corrupt, as you think). The Chinese believe that if the country has something to lose, they can use that as a way to negotiate with the country in a manner they want.

You must log in to answer this question.