Propaganda against Chinese investment

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At a time when the new Government in Pakistan is striving hard to accelerate the pace of implementation of various projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), some segments of Western and Indian media have started unleashing intensive propaganda linking the prevailing economic downslide in Sri Lanka and Pakistan to Chinese investment in these countries.

In a write-up titled ‘Fair weather ally? ’ How Sri Lanka, Pakistan fell into Chinese debt trap, an attempt has been made to cast aspersions on the highly imaginative Belt and Road Initiative of the Chinese President describing it part of the so-called ‘debt diplomacy’ despite the fact that the United States and some other Western countries are trying unsuccessfully to come out with a rival plan to Chinese BRI that is instrumental in accelerating socio-economic progress in the participating countries.

There is no doubt that apart from the negative impact of the Covid-19, global inflation and Russia-Ukraine war, many countries of the world have become vulnerable to economic weaknesses because of years of unsustainable loans but absurdity of the allegation that the Chinese loans under BRI or CPEC are the main cause of the economic problems for countries like Sri Lanka and Pakistan is evident from the fact that Chinese loans are just fraction of the total loans that these countries owe to other bilateral and multilateral donors.

It is also a fact that in the majority of cases the repayment of the Chinese loans has not yet started and, therefore, it would be unfair to blame Beijing for the ‘debt trap’.

As for Pakistan, the entire Chinese investment under CPEC is centred on projects that are economically or socially beneficial for people of Pakistan and are contributing their share in enhancing Pakistan’s ability to pay back its loans.

The Chinese provided valuable funds for the establishment of much-needed power plants in the backdrop of chronic electricity shortage which hindered economic growth and badly affected production and exports.

Similarly, investment on different projects in Gwadar is worth-making as the deep seaport is destined to become hub of regional trade and connectivity once infrastructure projects are completed to make it attractive for investors and link it with other parts of the country and the region.

No one can dispute the fact that motorways, highways, airports and water reservoirs funded by China have improved intra-country connectivity and created enormous economic and employment opportunities.

Again, plans to modernize agriculture would help boost our efforts aimed at achieving food security while ML-I would go a long way in unleashing the true potential of Pakistan Railways to complement socio-economic development in the length and breadth of the country.

Pakistan has a vision to become a manufacturing hub and China is offering meaningful assistance for establishment of special economic zones and dozens of Chinese companies have already expressed their keen desire to make investment in these zones.

Experts are convinced that CPEC is a big game changer that will influence the geo-strategic, geo-economic and geo-political dimensions of Central Asia, the great Middle East Region and South Asia.

It is because of the great potential of the initiative to spur economic growth that several regional countries are eager to join and benefit from this highly cooperative venture.

It may also be pointed out that China is also in the forefront of those countries that are offering valuable assistance in overcoming the prevailing economic challenges for which people of Pakistan are indebted to the great neighbours.

In fact, CPEC is a harbinger of a real change in Pakistan and that is why forces inimical to Pakistan are hatching conspiracies to create obstacles in the way of its smooth implementation.

However, people of Pakistan and their leadership are determined to foil all such attempts and this is confirmed by the sharp focus of the present government on CPEC projects and programmes.

We are convinced that the all-round cooperation of China and its willingness to transfer technology would bring about a genuine socio-economic revolution in Pakistan that would ultimately help the country come out of the existing messy situation.

Pakistan and China are aiming to develop infrastructure, trade, energy, transportation, IT and telecom, agriculture and industry and results of this enviable cooperation would emerge in years to come.

 

 

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