Claim on CPEC-related debt untrue: Pakistan

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/23 7:08:40

Trains of the metro train service are seen at a terminal station in Lahore, Pakistan, on December 10, 2019. Pakistan's first-ever mass rapid urban transit train took its first test run on Tuesday after the completion of the physical infrastructure of the project under the CPEC. Photo: Xinhua

The claims made by some commentators and public officials on Pakistan's debt obligations to China-Pakistan Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, are contrary to the facts, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday.

Since CPEC, a $60 billion project, was launched in 2015, suspicions by some countries outside the region, including the US, that it was a "debt trap" set by China have never been absent.

The US on Wednesday urged China either to wave off or renegotiate what it called the "unsustainable and unfair" debt of Pakistan, as it once again raised serious questions about the lack of transparency in the multibillion-dollar CPEC, The Economist reported.

However, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said that CPEC is a transformational project which contributes positively and transparently to Pakistan's development. 

"Pakistan believes that regional economic connectivity will provide a critical stimulus for creating broad-based growth across the region," the statement said. 

"CPEC, a long-term project, has helped address development gaps in energy, infrastructure, industrialization, and job creation."

"We have reiterated many times that our total public debt related to CPEC projects is less than 10 percent of the total debt. Moreover, the public debt obtained from China has a maturity period of 20 years and the interest is 2.34 percent. If grants are included, the interest value slides down to about two percent," the statement further emphasized.

Thursday marked the 69th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan. 

Pakistan and China are "All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partners." We are engaged in promoting peace, development and stability in the region based on the principles of mutual respect, mutual benefit, win-win cooperation and shared development. Our ties are based on deep mutual trust and understanding, the statement said.


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