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China denies CPEC projects are debt trap for Pakistan

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

on Tuesday denied that its projects under the USD 60 billion China-Economic Corridor (CPEC) are leaving in a debt trap and announced plans to extend the projects to various parts of the country.

The CPEC, which connects in with China's province, is the flagship project of Chinese Xi Jinping's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

"It has been more than five years since we started the CPEC. We have made important positive gains," Chinese said in his joint press conference with his Pakistani counterpart after their first strategic dialogue here.

Wang said 22 early harvest projects have been quite successful and have significantly improved transport and infrastructure and power supply in

"It created tens and thousands of jobs in Pakistan. They are playing increasingly important role in social economic development of Pakistan enhancing people's well-being," he said.

Answering a question over the criticism of the CPEC projects amid reports that plans to slash certain projects over concerns of debt burden, Wang said that Chinese projects have not resulted in enhancing Pakistan's debt.

"Among Pakistan's foreign debt, more than half of it comes from multi-lateral agencies. More than 80 per cent of them use direct investment from or Chinese grants. None of these contribute to debt in Pakistan. Only 20 per cent CPEC projects uses Chinese loans. So instead of adding to debt burden to Pakistan, the CPEC projects have contributed to greater strength, vitality of Pakistan's economy," Wang said.

He also said the CPEC projects have spread to all most all parts of the Pakistan, refuting criticism by some of the provinces that projects are being garnered by the dominant province.

As for the concerns expressed in some media, the CPEC has already entered all parts of Pakistan rather than limited to specific areas, Wang said.

"According to our plan future development of the CPEC, there will be more projects in other parts in Pakistan including western part of Pakistan which will benefit Pakistan people," he said.

About third like joining the CPEC projects he said as long as they are good for Pakistan we welcome such cooperation. This must be discussed by and Pakistan. We believe that further expansion of third party cooperation, the CPEC become stronger engine of growth and facilitator of regional integration," he said.

Wang said the CPEC is a "signature project of China-Pakistan cooperation in the new era.

"It is also an important pilot programme under the Belt and Road Initiative," he said.

has protested to China over the CPEC as it traversed through Pakistan-occupied

Qureshi said would attend the 2nd Belt and Road Forum being organised by China in next month. He also promised stepped security for the CPEC projects and Chinese personnel working in Pakistan.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 19 2019. 22:05 IST
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