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Impact of CPEC on Pakistan

Naveed Aman Khan
Since the commencement of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in May 2013, the Corridor construction has made rapid progress. Both of the nations have reasons to believe that the Pakistan-China consensus in the new era will not be disturbed by all kinds of clouds from time to time. Both of the nations will march ahead and cooperate sincerely to help each other to further promote both the countries. The construction of economic corridor has moved to a higher level.

American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that any potential financial bailout provided by the International Monetary Fund to Pakistan should not be used to repay Chinese loans. In fact, this is not the first time that the outside world has sung Pakistan’s future economic development and has taken a sideline attack on China-Pakistan relations.

Western media have specifically made a fuss about the CPEC and some China-Pakistan cooperation projects. However, high-ranking US officials have issued statements to the outside world on the Pakistani economic issue in an explicit way through the media. Earlier, Western media reported that the current debt problems in Pakistan were related to Chinese investment. From the perspective of scientific evidence and data analysis, it is difficult to argue. Around 42 per cent of Pakistan’s external debt comes from multilateral financial institutions, and 18 per cent of its debt comes from the Paris Club. China’s concessional loans account for only about 10 per cent of the total external debt and are much lower than the interest rates of commercial bank loans. Pakistan’s debt to China accounted for 10.4 per cent of its total external debt, accounting for only a small part of the external debt structure.

It is believed that with the further implementation of China-Pakistan pragmatic cooperation, it will continue to help the development of the real economy such as the Pakistani manufacturing industry, improve the industrial chain and effectively solve the problems of temporary foreign exchange income reduction and trade imbalance. The history of China-Pakistan relationship has always been a common struggle history of mutual benefit and pragmatic cooperation. Chinese and Pakistani nations believe that the CPEC will follow the broad consensus reached by the two countries and move forward steadily to continue to benefit them. Corridor cooperation will bring new important opportunities for the development of Pakistan. As a general consensus between the governments of the two countries and the nations, China-Pakistan sincere cooperation and common development complement each other. Sincere cooperation is the path and way to achieve development and common development is the shared vision of both the countries. It is willing to actively learn from China’s experience in governing the country in anti-corruption, poverty alleviation, environmental protection and urban construction and benefit the masses.

China is currently Pakistan’s largest investor and largest trading partner, bringing rich and positive possibilities for Pakistan’s economic development and improvement of people’s livelihood. With the deepening of the construction of the CPEC, it will attract more and more capital from inside and outside the country to invest in Pakistan. Pakistan is also expected to realize its location potential and advantages and become the core of interconnection in South Asia. In response, China will continue to work with the Pakistani side to promote greater development in the future of the corridor. At the level of achieving common development, China and Pakistan face many common historic opportunities and major issues. Attaining security and stability in South Asia, strengthening regional interconnection and building a more active and constructive role in the international arena is the goal of China-Pakistan to achieve common development in the future, and it is also the direction for the two countries to work together.

Since the high profile announcement and implementation of a new strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia last year, the United States has continued to intervene in the affairs of South Asia by using its own political, economic, military strength and advantageous position, and has continually and unilaterally raised unreasonable demands on the Pakistani government and people; and applied heavy pressure. However, Pakistan has extensive experience in safeguarding peace and stability in its own country and region. It has made painstaking efforts and made great sacrifices. It deserves the full understanding, respect and support of the international community. Pakistan, as a formal member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, participated in the Leaders Summit for the first time, which indicates that Pakistan will enhance its influence and recognition on the international stage through extensive and pragmatic cooperation with other members of the SCO. Pakistan one day will truly achieve stability and prosperity. It is also a long awaited expectation of China as an all-weather strategic partner.

Throughout the fundamentals of China-Pakistan pragmatic cooperation, the deep friendship between the two countries is a historical basis. The all-weather strategic partnership is a political guarantee. The achievements made in the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in the past five years are sufficient to prove its own value and positive role. In the future, it will continue to build infrastructure, promote employment, improve people’s livelihood, strengthen cultural exchanges, enhance the internal development of the Pakistani economy and internationally. We will play a role as a booster in terms of competitiveness and promote the development of a higher level and higher quality in the economic and social development of the Pakistani economy.