And as far as economics are concerned, as is the case with any grand initiative, there are short- and long-term implications, as well as short- and long-term winners. For the time being, the sectors of infrastructure and energy would appear to have benefited the most. On July 3, the 1,320-megawatt Sahiwal Coal Power Plant, CPEC’s first mega initiative, was completed in a record-22 months. The project will generate 9 billion KWH of power per year, and meet the energy needs of 10 million Pakistanis. Across Pakistan, similar projects, including the 660-megawatt Thar Coal-fired Power Plant Project in Sindh, the 870 megawatt Suki Kinari Hydropower Project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and the Gwadar Port and Free Trade Zone – vital elements of CPEC – in Balochistan, are also set to demonstrate tangible progress. Surely there isn’t and can hardly ever be an even spread of projects among all regions, in Pakistan or elsewhere. If China’s own reform experiences are any indication, there is a process through which concrete benefits are felt by different communities. In the long term, everybody wins. For China, those in the coastal provinces were generally the first to reap the fruits of reform, followed by inhabitants of the more inland areas. While China’s reform cannot be replicated as is, the Chinese naturally perceive Gwadar as a new Shenzhen on the horizon – in a positive commercial sense. The success of Shenzhen, a fishing town of 314,000 people in 1979that’s become an urban metropolis of 10 million-plus residents with a $300 billion GDP in 2016, is deeply entrenched in Chinese collective memory as companies flock to Gwadar; meanwhile, the practice of establishing overseas naval outposts and stationing troops in a foreign country are alien and inconceivable concepts to China, which remains a constitutionally anti-imperialist, anti-hegemonic and anti-colonial state.