Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   1 comment
OpEdNews Op Eds

Pipelineistan -- the Iran-Pak-China connection

By       Message Pepe Escobar     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 1   News 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 8/15/15

Author 73066
Become a Fan
  (168 fans)
- Advertisement -

Reprinted from Asia Times


China West-East Gas Pipeline
(Image by LNG World News)
  Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has just been to Islamabad to talk serious business with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. And the serious business had to be Pipelineistan -- as in what next for the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline.

Zarif essentially said that IP is a go -- again -- as soon as sanctions against Iran start to melt, by late 2015 or early 2016. Iran has already invested $2 billion in the Iranian stretch of IP, and China will finance the Pakistani stretch.

This is a major Pipelinestan gambit, as Asia Times has previously reported. And as a side note, as soon as IP goes online, all those years of incessant harassing by successive Bush and Obama administrations will finally come down to nought.

- Advertisement -

Even before Zarif hit Pakistan something serious was going on in ... Karamay. You may have not heard of Karamay, but this town in Xinjiang is right at the center of the Eurasian action; it has just hosted the 2015 China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Forum.

As we all know, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an absolutely key component, worth $46 billion, of the China-driven New Silk Roads. CPEC will link Kashgar in Xinjiang to the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar via highways (essentially an upgrade of the fabled Karakoram Highway), railways, industrial parks, fiber optic networks and -- eventually -- a pipeline.

And that pipeline will be no less than an extension up north of IP.

As part of CPEC, for instance, last month TBEA Xinjiang SunOasis -- a Chinese company -- finished the biggest solar power plant in Pakistan, for $215 million, in only three months.

At Karamay, China and Pakistan signed 20 CPEC-related cooperation agreements. They even issued a Karamay manifesto, stressing the political/economic importance of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road. CPEC is the largest China-Pakistan joint project since the construction of the Karakoram highway in 1979. And CPEC is only one among six economic corridors to be developed as part of the New Silk Roads.

Yet the full impact of CPEC will only be noted by the next decade. That's when the New Silk Road for the bulk of China's energy imports from the Middle East will be cut short by no less than 12,000 kilometers.

Ashgabat wakes up

- Advertisement -

Meanwhile, Turkmengaz -- Turkmenistan's national gas company -- has taken a 51% stake in a consortium still seeking to build the perennially troubled TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) gas pipeline, a serious competitor to IP if it ever gets built.

That's a game-changer because the Turkmen will now be in charge of the construction and operation of TAPI Ltd. The cost is a whopping $10 billion (IP will cost three times less); investment to the tune of $4 billion and $6 billion in debt.

Still it all comes back to the same problem; who wants to invest in a steel umbilical cord prone to all sorts of sabotage traversing a war zone -- western Afghanistan all the way to Kandahar? In theory, "host countries" should be responsible for TAPI's security; in the case of Afghanistan, that qualifies as black humor.

For the moment, Turkmengaz can only count on the Manila-based but Japan/US-controlled Asian Development Bank (ADB). That's not much. The notoriously opaque regime in Ashgabat says it's seeking other backers -- but no one knows where and how.

TAPI is still a pipe dream. Pakistan and India are not seriously considering it viable even in the medium term. So it's back to IP.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Well Said 1   News 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Why Putin is driving Washington nuts

You Want War? Russia is Ready for War

Why Qatar wants to invade Syria

All aboard the New Silk Road(s)

It was Putin's missile?

Where is Prince Bandar?