ISLAMABAD: Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, while rejecting US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Alice Wells’ statement about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), has said Pak-China relations were based on win-win cooperation and were mutually beneficial.
Addressing the ‘5th CPEC Media Forum (2nd Phase)’ in Islamabad, he expressed astonishment over Alice Wells’ statement of higher tariff in power plants, established under the CPEC.
The ambassador asked that when in 2013, the Chinese companies were establishing power plants in Pakistan, where was the US? Why it did not invest in Pakistan’s power sector despite knowing that Pakistan was in dire need of electricity.
He said China had always come forward to assist Pakistan in need without any political or government differences.
Yao Jing said if Pakistan was in need, China would never ask it to repay its loans in time, while on the other hand the International Monetary Fund (IMF), that is mainly governed by the West, was strict in its repayment system.
He wondered why the US had suspended its aid promised for Pakistan only because of political priorities.
Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells has claimed that the CPEC, China’s signature project in Pakistan, would put more debt burden on Pakistan, advance embezzlement and create employment and jobs for the Chinese people rather than local populace.
Alice Wells has warned that the multi-billion-dollar project would take a toll on Pakistan’s economy at the time of returning the debt. She said the project was not an aid to the country, rather a form of investment that would yield profit for the companies of the communist state.
Dawn newspaper has reported her as claiming that that when the project of upgradation of railway track from Karachi to Peshawar was announced its price was 8.2 billion dollar, which has now risen to 9 billion dollar.
With respect to the US’ allegation of corruption in the CPEC projects, Yao Jing said it was easy to allege anyone without having evidences.
He said that he himself had discussed this matter with a number of concerned 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 also reacted over the US’ blame of providing less employment opportunities to Pakistani workers in the CPEC projects, saying that so far over 75,000 Pakistani workers had been given job opportunities in the projects and that by 2030, around 2.3 million jobs were expected to be created in CPEC projects.
“I would be more happy to see more investment coming from the United States in Pakistan.”
Yao Jing siad 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 China would provide industrial cooperation to Pakistan and for this purpose over two dozens leading Chinese and Pakistani manufacturers, and industrialists were engaged to boost production and exports of Pakistan.