China’s much-publicised China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative has a dark future as nations are blaming these projects and it’s Chinese manpower for having contributed to the spread of coronavirus.
Baseer Naveed, an environmentalist based in Hong Kong said, “It (COVID-19) is the product of environmental abuse as projects like OBOR did not pay much attention to environment protection”.
He added, “The whole capitalist and industrial world was investing in developing capital and human beings were left without any proper care. The capitalist world has ignored the deterioration of the state of the environment. They have taken the poor condition of the environment as taken for granted.”
He also added, “This is the reason that since last two decades many dangerous and fatal viruses have attacked in different parts of the world and in major cases, this part of Far East Asia or Chinese dominated parts have lead in promoting such dangerous viruses because China did not follow the instructions about combating the danger of ignorance of environment, “Countries allying with China on its One Belt One Road (OBOR) Initiative are most suffering due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
In Pakistan and its occupied territories of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit Baltistan, the pandemic has caused massive damage because of the large presence and frequent movement by the Chinese workers.
There are over 4.7 lakh COVID-19 cases reported from across the world, which includes over 21,000 deaths since the outbreak of pandemic in Wuhan city of China.
The situation in Iran, Italy, and Pakistan is also due to ongoing Chinese projects and frequent movement from China to these countries
Naveed, who hails from Pakistan said, “One example is of CPEC which is the project which has not passed through the environmental impact assessment. If the world controls the Coronavirus then the capitalist and industrial powers have to review their environment policies strictly follow the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA).”
He added, “The free world will also insist on investing in human beings not on the latest machinery and arms and ammunition or on the threat to war. Therefore, all such big projects like CPEC and one belt one road will be halted till the world overcome such viruses or at least COVID 19 and it is not going to finish in the near future, “The multi-billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is one of the largest foreign investments in Pakistan and involves thousands of Chinese personnel spread over all four provinces and Gilgit-Baltistan”.
It is supposed to link China’s Xinjiang with Pakistani and Iranian ports through a network of rails and highways.
Naveed said, “The CPEC is Pakistan based project and Pakistan does not have skill and strength to control Corona nor has the amount to continue the project, though it is China funded. Even Pak military cannot go with CPEC. So, the future of CPEC is not bright”.
According to a report, China’s One Belt One Road is a major contributor to the spread of Coronavirus infection in Italy and Iran. Despite being so far away from China, the cause of the outbreak of the coronavirus in these countries can be easily explained by OBOR linkages.