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China denies CPEC intensified Pakistan’s economic risks

BEIJING

China on Monday refuted the criticism that the USD 60 billion CPEC has intensified Pakistan’s economic risks, saying that less than 20 per cent of the current projects under the initiative are using Chinese loans.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which connects Gwadar Port in Balochistan with China’s Xinjiang province, is the flagship project of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

As China pressed ahead with the BRI, it drew strong criticism that Chinese projects are being built with heavy interest rates and without due diligence studies about their viability, leaving the smaller countries in heavy debt.

The US, India, Japan and several other countries have aired such criticism about

India has also protested to China over the CPEC as it traverses through Pakistan-Administered Kashmir.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told the media here on Monday that the CPEC is a symbol of China-Pakistan cooperation in the new era and also an important pilot programme of the BRI.

Defending the massive infusion of Chinese money into Pakistan, which is a close ally of Beijing, Lu said carrying out major projects with international financing is a global practice.

It is also an effective approach for developing countries to handle the financial bottlenecks and foster growth, he said.

“Only less than 20 per cent of the current CPEC projects are using Chinese loans and more than 80 per cent of them are directly invested by China or using Chinese grants,” he said.

“So, these CPEC projects didn’t further increase Pakistan’s burden. On the contrary, it is strengthening Pakistan’s economy,” he said.

“It has greatly improved Pakistan’s infrastructure and power supply and of course it is welcomed by Pakistan government and its people,” he said.

About PTI

Press Trust of India (PTI) is India’s premier news agency, having a reach as vast as the Indian Railways. It employs more than 400 journalists and 500 stringers to cover almost every district and small town in India. Collectively, they put out more than 2,000 stories and 200 photographs a day to feed the expansive appetite of the diverse subscribers, who include the mainstream media, the specialised presses, research groups, companies, and government and non-governmental organisations.

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