Chinese envoys brush aside ‘misconceptions’ raised about CPEC; At the moment $19bn 22 projects are under consideration or have been completed; CPEC debt was only 6.3% of total external debt/liabilities;
Repayment period was 15 to 20 years with 5 to 8 years grace period
Reject reports that CPEC projects carry a 14pc interest rate, branding them a ‘pack of lies’; Pakistan only has to pay 2pc interest; CPEC not responsible for Pakistan’s economic woes; CPEC is beneficial not only for China but also for Pakistan; China to make Imran’s visit a success
ISLAMABAD: The ambassador said that the Chinese leaders, the government and the people were eagerly looking forward to the historical visit of Prime Minister Khan.
“In terms of financial assistance during the visit of PM, we will provide hopefully a grant to the Pakistani government and at the end of the visit there will be good news,” said Lijian Zhao, the deputy chief of mission of Chinese embassy.
He said that China does not want to embarrass Pakistani friends but it has provided huge support for stabilising the country’s foreign exchange reserves. Only China Development Bank has provided $2.7 billion commercial loans, he added.
Pakistan has sought financial aid from China, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE). It has so far secured a $6 billion lifeline from Saudi Arabia.
The deputy envoy said that many agreements and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed at the end of the premier’s visit. China wants to help Pakistan build its manufacturing capacity, he added.
PM Khan will attend China’s International Import Expo as chief guest. “This is the major platform for Pakistan to build its image of pro-business, pro-development policies for an emerging Pakistan,” said the Chinese ambassador.
He said that invest more in Pakistan and buy more from Pakistan is China’s policy.
China’s capital, China’s technology and also China’s huge market could be a major contributor towards Pakistan’s future development, he added.
Jing said during the first face-to-face exchange between Prime Minister Khan and President Xi Jinping, there will be discussions on current cooperation in different areas and future cooperation in economic, social, defense and cultural areas.
The ambassador also said that China wanted to see Pakistan economically strong that was also good for regional peace and stability. Pakistan has taken new initiatives like offering peace talks to India and showed readiness to play a role in peace in Afghanistan.
The ambassador rejected all kinds of criticism against the CPEC. There are some kinds of views regarding economic burden for Pakistan and that implementation of CPEC is not transparent enough and Chinese companies are taking huge benefits, said Yao Jing. “All these concerns are irrelevant and we are ready to provide more information to address these concerns,” he added.
All the CPEC projects are mutually beneficial and the CPEC is the manifest of China’s trust in Pakistan, said Jing.
He said that at the moment 22 projects valuing $19 billion are either under consideration or have been completed. The envoy said that by implementing CPEC, China wanted to help build Pakistan’s manufacturing base. He warned about the international and regional forces conspiring against China and Pakistan relations.
He advised that both China and Pakistan should have confidence in each other and make the CPEC a platform for regional connectivity.
Lijian Zhao, the deputy chief of mission of Chinese Embassy said that the CPEC debt was only 6.3% of the total external debt and liabilities as of June this year. He said that terms of the deals were very much in favour of Pakistan.
During the construction period, there were no payments of loans and interests.
The repayment period was 15 to 20 years including 5 to 8 years grace period.
He said that all the energy projects that are currently under implementation have been financed by the Chinese companies by taking commercial loans. The deputy chief of mission said that the interest rates of these commercial loans were in the range of 5.3% to 6.3% including the insurance cost.
He said that the CPEC has brought huge benefits for Pakistan. It has so far created 75,000 direct jobs
Zhao said that in next five years, the CPEC will enter into second phase of expansion and broadening. He said that more agreements will be signed on Rashakai special economic zone and its ground breaking ceremony was expected by end of this year.
PM Imran Khan has mentioned action against corrupt people by China, Chinese government is having strict rules for implementation of CPEC projects, said the deputy envoy. “We have been keeping very close eye on all the CPEC projects. Most of the CPEC projects are executed by the Chinese state-owned enterprises, I can assure you that up till now we have not found any irregularity concerned with Chinese companies,” said Zhao.
The Chinese ambassador and deputy ambassador to Pakistan on Friday dismissed the notion that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a burden on the Pakistani economy, assuring that the multi-billion-dollar project is of as much benefit to the local economy as it is to the People’s Republic.
Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, while giving a media briefing in Islamabad, said: “CPEC is beneficial not only for China but also for Pakistan.”
Jing said that “it is a wrong impression that only Chinese companies are benefiting from CPEC” or that “CPEC is a burden on Pakistan’s economy.”
CPEC not responsible for Pakistan’s economic woes, says China.
The ambassador said that they are ready to “provide information and clear reservations” regarding the project at anytime.
He further said that “some global powers do not want to see China grow and prosper”, while also stressing that the “growth of Pakistan is essential for both China and the world.”
“Some powers are bothered by Pakistan and China’s cooperation, relationship and friendship,” the envoy said.
Adding that the two neighbours remain unperturbed, Jing said that “they will continue to move forward through mutual cooperation at the policy level.”
The Chinese deputy ambassador also rejected reports that CPEC projects carry a 14 per cent interest rate, branding them a “pack of lies”.
“China’s debt to Pakistan is 6.3pc of Pakistan’s total debt,” he said. “Pakistan only has to pay 2pc interest. It has 15 to 20 years to repay the loan. From 2020 to 2021, Pakistan has to pay between $300m and $400m.”
He said that in future Iran and Afghanistan could also be added to CPEC.
Agencies add: China will work with Pakistan to make relations between the two countries a model of good neighborliness and friendship, a pillar of regional peace and stability and a benchmark for building the Belt and
Road Initiative, Chinese foreign ministry said on Friday.
“We are willing to work with the Pakistani side to make China-Pakistan relations a model of good-neighborliness and friendship, a pillar of regional peace and stability, and a benchmark for building the “Belt and Road,” Chinese foreign ministry’s spokesperson Hua Chunying said while responding to a question asked by APP about Prime Minister Imran Khan’s upcoming visit official visit to China.
She said the Chinese side was also willing to work together with the Pakistani side to make Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China a complete success and to promote new and greater development of China-Pakistan relations.
China, she said, had invited Prime Minister Imran Khan to pay an official visit to China in early November and attend the first China International Import Expo. “China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners, and the relationship between the two countries has always been operating at a high level,” she added.
Hua Chunying said after being elected the prime minister, Imran Khan emphasized that he should continue to regard relations with China as the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy and firmly promote the construction of the
China-Pakistan economic corridor, adding, “China highly appreciates this.”
She said shortly after the establishment of the new Pakistani government, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Pakistan and reached broad consensus with the Pakistani leaders on China-Pakistan relations and cooperation in various fields.
Responding to another question she said China was aware of difficulties faced by Pakistan in its financial situation, adding, “We support Pakistan in taking proactive measures to deal with this.”
Hua Chunying said actually, China also provided its utmost efforts and assistance to Pakistan and added that China believed Pakistan had a capability to ensure its steady economic development.
At the invitation of the Chinese leadership, Prime Minister Imran Khan would pay an official visit to China from November 2 to 5.
After his visit to Beijing, the prime minister would visit Shanghai to participate in First China International Import Expo in Shanghai, where Pakistan is exhibiting a wide range of export products.