The Chinese Embassy in Pakistan has taken note of the irresponsible remarks once again by Mrs. Alice Wells on the China-Pakistan relations and the CPEC. Her speech is totally baseless, just a repetition of her same old tune. This is yet another doomed attempt to defame Sino-Pak relations and the CPEC. We are firmly opposed to it.
The outgoing US Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice Wells criticized the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects and defamed China Pakistan relations.
The Chinese embassy said, today marks the 69th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan. For the past 69 years, our two countries have established and consolidated an all-weather friendship. We respect each other and support each other. We cooperate for common prosperity. We work together to promote regional peace and stability. In the current fight against COVID-19, China and Pakistan stand together and China donated medical equipment and materials of more than $55 million to Pakistan. We take Pakistan as an equal partner and never asked Pakistan to “do more”. We support Pakistan’s own model of development and never intervene its domestic affairs. We highlight Pakistan’s responsible role in regional affairs and never exert pressure.
The CPEC is an important cooperation project between the Governments of China and Pakistan. It has always adhered to the principles of mutual benefit, win-win cooperation, openness and transparency. The planning and implementation of the projects are carried out by the two sides through thorough consultations based on equality and scientific study.The Chinese companies under the CPEC are all leading companies in their respective sectors and operate in full compliance with local laws and regulations. Since its implementation, the CPEC has brought $25 billion in direct investment and created more than 75,000 jobs for Pakistan. China has been the major source of FDI for Pakistan in the past five consecutive years. While according to the BOI, the FDI from the USA to Pakistan was a bit over $1billion between 2012 and 2019.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, there is ZERO infection on CPEC projects due to strict measures taken by the both sides. The Chinese companies have not suspended construction nor have they laid-off a single local staff. The CPEC projects have secured local employment and kept contributing to Pakistan’s economy. The energy projects are generating 1/3 of the electricity for Pakistan now. The Phase II of KKH is almost ready for traffic. The integrated test and commissioning for the Lahore Orange Line have been successfully completed. The construction of the new airport in Gwadar entered into the second phase. Gwadar has become an economic hub for Baluchistan. All Chinese companies working for the CPEC have generously donated medical assistance to Pakistan in the current difficult situation. Over 20,000 Pakistani students are studying in China on scholarships provided by the Chinese government and Universities. In the next stage of the CPEC, both sides will strength the cooperation on health care, industrial development, agriculture and education. The CPEC will give new impetus to Pakistan’s economic revival even in the post COVID-19 period.
China knows the impact of the COVID-19 on Pakistan’s economy and is sparing no effort to help Pakistan address the challenge. According to the State Bank of Pakistan, its debt from multilateral institutions amounts to about 47% of its total external debt, while loans from the CPEC is only $5.8 billion, 5.22% of the Pakistan’s total debt. It has no pressure on Pakistan at all. Recently, the G20 members adopted a Debt Service Suspension Initiative for the Poorest Countries. China supported Pakistan to be included and is ready to provide relief. China will never force Pakistan to pay back the debts and China’s loans have no strings attached.
While China and Pakistan are cooperating to prevent and control the epidemic, China sent a group of experts to Pakistan to combat the locust plague. China has donated 300 tons of malathion and 50 air-powered high-efficiency remote sprayers to Pakistan in this regards. We are ready to extend more help. The CPFTA Phase-II has taken effect from Jan 1, 2020. The level of trade liberalization between the two countries has increased with tariffs further reduced. In addition, China and Pakistan are working together to promote the peace process in Afghanistan and provide humanitarian assistance to Afghan refugees in Pakistan. China also opposes the politicization of the International Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and is working with Pakistan to strengthen its capacity.