Smart move by China to buy 40% ownership of Pak's only bourse: Letter to BS

This refers to “How China plans to grow Asia clout by beating India bid in Dhaka” (February 20). A consortium of Chinese companies has already bought out 40 per cent ownership of Pakistan’s only stock exchange based in Karachi. It is likely that this is part of the larger plan of China, the first big price Pakistan will have to pay in return for Chinese investments on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The corridor project is now estimated at around $60 billion. This trading mechanism will offer China’s currency to flow through the stock markets. There is also a proposal to replace the US dollar with the Chinese yuan for trade between China and Pakistan.

It has made a request to treat yuan as a legal tender in the Gwadar port area. As a significant importer of oil in the international market an attempt to wean the world off US-dollar priced oil would be another milestone for the yuan. Recently, US regulators spiked the politically sensitive sale of the Chicago Stock Exchange (CHX) to a group led by China-based investors. This could be part of a long-term goal to list Chinese companies in the United States on the bourse. Plans were to eventually build an exchange in China using CHX technology.

The threat about Huawei a major telecom equipment company may be theoretical—but compromised telecom equipment could quickly cripple a nation’s civilian and military infrastructure. Huawei has refused to explain its relationship with the Chinese government or the role of a Communist Party inside the company. India has joined the large list of countries concerned about allowing the installation of telecoms kit from Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE. The apprehension is based on the evidence that the Chinese are actively hacking critical sites in the US and other countries. 

H N Ramakrishna,

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