If Pakistan is in economic need, China will never ask it to repay the CPEC loans immediately: Chinese Ambassador
*ISLAMABAD - **If Pakistan is in economic need, China will never ask it to repay the CPEC loans immediately, Chinese Ambassador has revealed referring back to the US diplomat statement.*
*Where was the United States when Pakistan needed help, asked Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing. *
He rejected a statement by US Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells and said Pak-China relations are based on “win-win cooperation” and are mutually beneficial.
He was speaking at the the 5th CPEC Media Forum in Islamabad. Wells, during an address at the Wilson Centre on China’s Belt and Road Initiative on Thursday, said CPEC was not an aid to Pakistan but rather a form of financing that ensured guaranteed profits for state-owned Chinese enterprises.
She said the multi-billion dollar project will take a toll on Pakistan’s economy at the time of repayment of the debt and dividend.
Wells said that the lack of transparency in CPEC could foster corruption and increase the project cost, thereby resulting in an even heavier debt burden for Pakistan.
“Because it is clear or needs to be clear that CPEC is not about aid, this is almost always the form of loans or other forms of financing, often non-concessional with sovereign guarantees or guaranteed profits for Chinese State-owned enterprises that are repatriated to China,” Wells said.
“Now, together with non-CPEC Chinese debt payment, China is going to take a growing toll on Pakistan’s economy, especially when the bulk of payment starts to come due in the next four to six years.
Even if loan payments are deferred they are going to hang over Pakistan’s economic development potential, hamstringing Prime Minister Khan’s reform agenda. The lack of transparency can increase CPEC cost and foster corruption, resulting in an even heavier debt burden for Pakistan,” she added.
For his part, Yao expressed astonishment over Wells’ statement of higher tariff at power plants established under CPEC. In 2013, when Chinese companies were establishing power plants in Pakistan, where was the US, he asked.
Why did it not invest in Pakistan’s power sector despite knowing that Pakistan was in dire need of electricity, demanded Yao.
He said China has always come forward to assist Pakistan in need without any political or government differences.
If Pakistan is in need, China would never ask it to repay its loans on time, while on the International Monetary Fund, which is mainly governed by the West, is strict in its repayment system, he claimed.