ISLAMABAD - Ambassador of China in Pakistan, Yao Jang has rejected the propaganda that the mega China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project would only benefit China and Pakistan would get nothing out of it.
Addressing a press briefing in Islamabad on Friday, Jang said the project was mutually beneficial to the two countries. "We are building this mega project based on mutual sharing and mutual interests," he noted.
The envoy said China trusts Pakistan which was why it was investing such a huge amount for the economic development of the country. He added that the investment money was hard-earned money of the people of China , and it should therefore be recognised.
"Elements who do not want to see China and Pakistan prosper and develop and the elements who do not want good relationship between the two countries are spreading such propaganda," he added.
Jang said the government and people of China were eagerly awaiting the historic visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in the first week of November, as China was pinning high hopes on the new government in terms of bringing peace and development not only in Pakistan but in the entire region.
He said China wanted to see Pakistan as an economically strong and independent country to promote regional peace, prosperity, and stability.
During the visit, the prime ministers of the two countries would witness signing of a number of bilateral agreements in areas of mutual interests besides participating as guests of honour in Business Conference, to be held in Shanghai on November 5, the ambassador shared.
He said China was willing to extend maximum possible support to Pakistan, which is its longstanding trade and strategic partner. "We have plans to invest more under [CPEC] and buy more from Pakistan to make it economically stronger and independent country", he added.
The envoy informed that during PM Imran Khan’s visit, a major breakthrough in a number of projects under CPEC was expected especially in Rashakai Special Economic Zone, the ground-breaking of which is expected to be held by the end of the current year.
He also appreciated the new government’s efforts to bring peace in the region by offering peace talks to its neighbourly countries.
Deputy Chief of Chinese Mission in Pakistan, Lijian Zhao said Pakistan owes debt to China worth only US$6 billion, which was around 6.3 percent of Pakistan’s total foreign debt and repayment of this amount would start on 2021 with payment of $300-400 million per year.
"All the CPEC projects are funded by commercial loans which are borrowed and repaid by the Chinese companies," he said, adding that there is no debt on the Pakistan government.
Zhao said the average interest on the loan under CPEC was around 5.3 percent including insurance payment.
He said Rashakai, Hatar and Dhabeji SEZs were the front-line projects among all SEZs and work on them would be started soon.