US has evil intention, China reacts on criticism of CPEC by Washington
China on Monday rejected US’ criticism of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying Washington had “evil intentions” and was trying to drive a wedge between Beijing and Islamabad.
The top US official for south Asia, Alice Wells had last week said the CPEC flagship project of President Xi Jinping’s multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) would increase Pakistan’s debt burden and benefit only.
Beijing brushed aside the criticism on Monday.
“No matter what the US says or does or how it tries to spoil the CPEC development, we will work together with Pakistan to develop CPEC and advance our all-weather strategic cooperative partnership to bring more benefits to Pakistani people and deliver more benefits to the region and beyond,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang said on Monday.
“I am afraid, the problem is with certain people in the US with evil intentions,” Geng said, arguing that the CPEC is, in fact, helping Pakistan’s economy.
“At least 22 projects had achieved early harvest significantly improving the local transportation infrastructure and the power supply as well as creating 10,000 job opportunities, increasing Pakistan’s annual economic growth by 1 to 2 percentage points contributing to its national and social development as well as improving the people’s well being,” Geng added.
“I believe facts have given the best answer to whether the CPEC is good or not.”
China while building CPEC always followed the principle of wide consultations, joint contributions and shared benefits putting Pakistani people’s interest first, Geng added.
Quoting data from Pakistan, Geng said the total debt for CPEC is $4.9 billion less than one-tenth of total Pakistani debt most of which is from multi-national banks.
Over five years, important and positive progress had been made in CPEC, he added.
Incidentally, India has not joined the BRI despite repeated invitations from the Chinese because New Delhi says the CPEC violates its territorial integrity as the network of projects passes through Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir.