China has rejected an impression that ongoing multi-billion dollar international connectivity projects caused current financial crunches of Pakistan.
Prof Sun Hongqi, who is the adviser to the President Xi Jinping on Pakistan Affairs, was addressing a two-day conference on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on October 22 where he also expressed concerns over anti-CPEC campaigns in Pakistan.
He said that CPEC is not to be held responsible for the economic crisis in Islamabad.
The moot was also attended Mumtaz Zahra from Pakistan Embassy in China, and Jiangsu Communist Party Secretary General Zhou Tiegen, while a number of intellectuals and businessmen from Pakistan, Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Iran, and South Korea were also present.
Hongqi went on to say, “Loan repayments for the CPEC projects will start in the financial year 2023-24 when the economic growth rate of Pakistan will be much higher than the present”.
He emphasized on a need to curb impression in Pakistan that CPEC will only benefit China, adding that the regional connectivity would be fruitful for both countries.
“What will China gain from energy projects given priority in the first phase of CPEC as per desire of Islamabad other than helping our all-weather friend to overcome the electricity deficiency badly hitting its economy,” Dawn news quoted academic.
Former Chinese ambassador to Pakistan An Qiguang announced that various projects of the CPEC were being executed by the Chinese firms, adding that more Pakistani labour and mid-level managers would be hired for them.
Jiangsu’s Deputy Secretary-General Wang Zhizhong said that trade imbalance between the two friendly countries would be brought down as China will import more agriculture products from Pakistan.
At the conference, multi-million dollars memorandum of understanding (MoUs) were also signed between Pakistanis and Chinese business persons.