Skip to main content

China Slams US for 'Spreading Rumors' About BRI Investments in Pakistan

A Pakistani motorcyclist drives on a newly built Pakistan China Silk Road in Haripur, Pakistan, Dec. 22, 2017.
A Pakistani motorcyclist drives on a newly built Pakistan China Silk Road in Haripur, Pakistan, Dec. 22, 2017.

China has defended its infrastructure development investments in Pakistan as "open and transparent," refuting renewed U.S. criticism of the ongoing multibillion-dollar economic collaboration under Beijing's global Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).  

The Chinese embassy in Islamabad issued the rebuttal Wednesday in response to comments in Pakistani media attributed to a visiting senior U.S. diplomat questioning the transparency and fairness of projects being implemented in what is known as the bilateral China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship of the trillion-dollar BRI.

"The entire process is open and transparent and is in line with the international norm. We keep in touch with the relative accountability agencies of Pakistan and it is agreed that the CPEC is clean," the Chinese diplomatic mission stressed in its statement.

'Debt trap' allegations

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells, who visited Pakistan this week, was also quoted as saying the CPEC-related financing was burdening Pakistan with expensive Chinese loans. She had raised similar concerns and questions while delivering a public speech in Washington last November.

Alice Wells, acting Assistant Secretary of South and Central Asian Affairs and former U.S. Ambassador to Jordan, testifies…
FILE - Alice Wells, acting assistant secretary to South Asia, testifies during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 19, 2019.

Critics in the U.S. and elsewhere see China's BRI program as a "debt trap" for countries like Pakistan, which have struggling economies that would make it difficult for them to make Chinese loan repayments.

"The U.S. keeps fabricating the so-called debt story, their mathematics is bad, and their intention is worse," the Chinese Embassy asserted. "China has never forced other countries to pay debts, and will not make unreasonable demands on Pakistan."

China has invested around $30 billion, mostly in direct foreign investment, over the past five years in early harvest CPEC projects. The investment has significantly improved local transportation infrastructure and constructed power plants, effectively ending crippling nationwide electricity shortages.

'Rock-solid' ties

Chinese and Pakistani officials say the economic collaboration has also created more than 75,000 jobs directly for locals and contributed 1%-2% of the GDP growing in Pakistan.

The Chinese embassy cited the Pakistani central bank's statistics, saying the total foreign debt of Pakistan stood at $110 billion, with Western financial institutions, including the Paris Club and International Monetary Fund (IMF), being the largest creditors of the country.

"Loan for the CPEC is about $5.8 billion, accounting for 5.3% of Pakistan's total foreign debt, with a repayment period of 20-25 years and an interest rate of approximately 2%," the Chinese statement noted. The repayments will start in 2021, with annual repayments of about $300 million, it explained.

The embassy alleged the "negative propaganda" against CPEC by the U.S. was aimed at undermining Beijing's close relationship with Islamabad.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan reviews the honour guard during a welcome ceremony with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang outside…
FILE - Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan reviews the honor guard during a welcome ceremony with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Oct. 8, 2019.

"China-Pakistan ties are rock-solid and unbreakable. China will continue to work with the Pakistani government and people to steadily advance the BRI and CPEC to promote regional peace and development," stressed the Chinese statement.

CPEC has also built and opened Pakistan's strategically located deep-water Arabian Sea port of Gwadar, which is being operated by a Chinese state company.  

U.S.-Pakistan talks

U.S. diplomat Wells during her four-day visit to Islamabad this week, which officially ended Wednesday, held extensive talks with senior Pakistani officials, focusing on boosting bilateral trade and investment ties. Her trip took place amid Islamabad's warming relations with Washington stemming from recent joint efforts aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan, America's longest.

U.S. President Donald Trump met with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the third interaction between the two leaders since their July 2019 White House meeting.

"We're getting along very well. I would say we've never been closer with Pakistan than we are right now. And that's a big statement," Trump acknowledged while speaking to reporters before his meeting with Khan.

Pakistani officials say they want to enhance commercial ties with the U.S. but will not "compromise" on Islamabad's relations and CPEC commitments with China.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

SSG Commando Muddassir Iqbal of Pakistan Army

“ Commando Muddassir Iqbal was part of the team who conducted Army Public School operation on 16 December 2014. In this video he reveals that he along with other commandos was ordered to kill the innocent children inside school, when asked why should they kill children after killing all the terrorist he was told that it would be a chance to defame Taliban and get nation on the side. He and all other commandos killed children and later Taliban was blamed. Muddassir Iqbal has deserted the military and now he is  with mujahedeen somewhere in AF PAK border area” For authenticity of  this tape journalists can easy reach to his home town to interview his family members or   ISPR as he reveals his army service number” Asalam o Alaikum: My name is Muddassir Iqbal. My father’s name is Naimat Ali. I belong to Sialkot divison (Punjab province), my village is Shamsher Poor and district, tehsil and post office  Narowal. Unfortunately I was working in Pakistan army. I feel embarrassed to tell yo

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میں Please help the deserving persons... Salary: Salary package in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in these 300,000 jobs shall be on daily wages. The details of the daily wages are as follows; Welder: Rs. 1,700 daily Heavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 daily Mason: Rs. 1,500 daily Helper: Rs. 850 daily Electrician: Rs. 1,700 daily Surveyor: Rs. 2,500 daily Security Guard: Rs. 1,600 daily Bulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Concrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 daily Roller operator: Rs. 2,000 daily Steel fixer: Rs. 2,200 daily Iron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 daily Account clerk: Rs. 2,200 daily Carpenter: Rs. 1,700 daily Light duty driver: Rs. 1,700 daily Labour: Rs. 900 daily Para Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 daily Pipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 daily Storekeeper: Rs. 1,700 daily Office boy: Rs. 1,200 daily Excavator operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Shovel operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Computer operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Security Supervisor: Rs.

A ‘European Silk Road’

publication_icon Philipp Heimberger ,  Mario Holzner and Artem Kochnev wiiw Research Report No. 430, August 2018  43 pages including 10 Tables and 17 Figures FREE DOWNLOAD The German version can be found  here . In this study we argue for a ‘Big Push’ in infrastructure investments in greater Europe. We propose the building of a European Silk Road, which connects the industrial centres in the west with the populous, but less developed regions in the east of the continent and thereby is meant to generate more growth and employment in the short term as well as in the medium and long term. After its completion, the European Silk Road would extend overland around 11,000 kilometres on a northern route from Lisbon to Uralsk on the Russian-Kazakh border and on a southern route from Milan to Volgograd and Baku. Central parts are the route from Lyon to Moscow in the north and from Milan to Constanţa in the south. The southern route would link Central Europe with the Black Sea area and