Beijing refutes talks of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects postponement

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/11 22:58:39

Beijing refuted talks of a postponement of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects on Tuesday, reaffirming its commitment to the program.

"Pakistan's commitment to CPEC is unwavering," said Geng Shuang, spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry. "The construction of CPEC has a good driving effect on the economic and social development of Pakistan."

The concerns came after Abdul Razak Dawood, Pakistani cabinet member for commerce, industry and investment, was quoted by UK daily Financial Times on Monday saying that the project will be "postponed," though Dawood said later that parts of his interview had been taken out of context.

The Financial Times reported that Pakistan has formed a nine-member committee to "think through CPEC," but Geng said Pakistan's move is to speed up the implementation process of CPEC projects.

"At present, there are 22 cooperative projects under the framework of CPEC, nine of which have been completed and 13 are under construction," Geng said.

The two countries are enjoying an all-weather strategic partnership, as CPEC total investment has reached $19 billion, according to Geng.

"It has driven the annual economic growth of Pakistan by 1 to 2 percent and has created 70,000 jobs for Pakistan," Geng noted.

During Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to Pakistan last week, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to CPEC.

CPEC is one of the major programs under the Belt and Road initiative.

"If the Belt and Road initiative is really geopolitically considered, as some people have described, facing many challenges and causing various crisis traps, it will not be popular and progress will not be fast, nor will the results be fruitful," Geng said.

According to the next economic and social development priorities of Pakistan, the future development path and cooperation direction of CPEC will be determined through consultations, Geng noted.


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