Like IMF, China will not force Pakistan to repay loans in time, says envoy

Like IMF, China will not force Pakistan to repay loans in time, says envoy

Ambassador of China to Pakistan Yao Jing has said that if Pakistan is in need Beijing would never ask Islamabad to repay its loans in time, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), that is mainly governed by the West, is strict in its repayment system.

Addressing the fifth CPEC Media Forum, he said that Pak-China relations are based on win-win cooperation and are mutually beneficial. He was speaking in the backdrop of a statement by US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Alice Wells.

Ambassador Yao Jing said that China had always come forward to assist Pakistan in need without any political or government differences. He called upon media to play its role in nullifying effects of propaganda against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

He said that the media is a major vehicle of information and platform of interaction. He said that media from both Pakistan and China have already been playing role in promoting state-to-state relations. He questioned why the US had suspended its aid promised for Pakistan only because of political priorities.

In her statement, the US diplomat had warned Pakistan that it faced long-term economic damage with little return if China keeps pursuing its giant infrastructure push. The Chinese envoy expressed his astonishment over Alice Wells’ statement of higher tariff in power plants, established under CPEC.

TARIFF STRUCTURE: He said that he himself had earlier briefed her about the tariff structure of these power plants and told that the tariff structure was the lowest among all the countries to whom the Chinese companies provide electricity. When in 2013, the Chinese companies were establishing power plants in Pakistan, where was the US,” he questioned.

“Why the US did not invest in Pakistan’s power sector despite knowing that Pakistan was in dire need of electricity,” he asked. With respect to the American allegation of corruption in CPEC projects, Yao Jing said that it was easy to allege anyone without having evidences.

He said that he himself had discussed this matter with a number of stakeholders including National Accountability Bureau (NAB), but did not find even a single evidence of corruption in any CPEC project. “My dear American colleague, before alleging anyone, please be careful that you have enough evidences about certain allegations,” he added.

With regard to the Main Line (ML-1) railway project that is to be executed under CPEC, the Chinese envoy clarified that the project cost is around $9 billion, however it is only estimation and it is not final cost. “The real cost of the project will be finalized in the second stage of determining financial package of the project,” he said.

He reacted over the US’ blame of providing less employment opportunities to Pakistani workers in the CPEC projects, saying that so far over 75000 Pakistani workers had been given job opportunities in the projects and that by 2030, around 2.3 million jobs are expected to be created in CPEC projects.

US INVESTMENT IN PAKISTAN: “I would be more happy to see more investment coming from the United States in Pakistan.” Yao Jing said that China was determined to build capacities of Pakistani businessmen and industrialists to boost productivity in the country which would ultimately help in increasing the exports of Pakistan.

Under CPEC, he said that China would provide industrial cooperation to Pakistan and for this purpose over two dozen leading Pakistani and Chinese manufacturers, and industrialists were engaged to boost production and exports of Pakistan. Senate’s Leader of House Senator Shibli Faraz said that media is playing important role in projecting CPEC and bilateral relations of Pakistan and China.

He also thanked China for assisting Pakistan in difficult time. Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed said that CPEC had become a success story only because of true relationships of the two countries and media of both Pakistan and China, which had been playing important role in negating propaganda from certain international stakeholders.

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