United States' Perspective of CPEC

China is putting $46 billion in Pakistan, and they will be looking to protect that too. It means China is stepping into a vacuum left by the United States when it declined to invest in Pakistan, despite the strategic alliance between the two countries during the Cold War as well as after the 9/11, terrorist attacks.

Over the past 13 years, the United States has given Pakistan about $10.5 billion in economic assistance, $7.6 billion in security-related aid, and $13 billion as a reimbursement in counterterrorism support. But USA is not interested in building infrastuctures such as dams, electrical power plants, railways, roads and bridges and ports in Pakistan.

By comparison, China views its relationship with allies on the geopolitical, geostrategic, and geo-economics basis. As per Chinese viewpoint, "if you want to achieve some goal, you have to take a comprehensive approach which includes, political, economic, military and social."

Robert Hathaway, former director of the Asia Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, said that U.S. officials appeared to be comfortable to let China become the dominant influence over Pakistan. U.S. policymakers are skeptical that China's $46 billion aid will never be fully materialized. They think a significant terrorist attack or Pakistani political crisis, the country with a history of three successful military coups since its creation in 1947, could quickly reason the Chinese to reconsider their relationship. American alleged that they never get results commensurate with the effort or money they put into Pakistan over the years.

Pakistan has the potential to be an overall turnaround story, and it is important to convince the U.S. policymakers and business leaders to look at Pakistan beyond the security lens. Getting USA's relationship right will require deeper thinking and action on issues around trade and investment, education, and broader economic development. The United States should be Pakistan's preferred partner given its 70-year relationship. But to participate in the upside of the Pakistan story, the United States will need to view Pakistan not as a part of the problem but part of the solution and as a potential partner.

Even today USA media still portrait Pakistan as a failed state and associated with terrorism, although there are several changes and improvement have been made that suggest the United States should soon act on CPEC opportunities. Contrarily, Western media headlines on Pakistan highlights over the progress on the security front, the increased political stability, and incremental advances in the economic field. Sadly, in spite of the potential in Pakistan, USA continues to brand it as a dangerous country and never look at Pakistan beyond the security lens.