Chinese envoy urges media to play role in nullifying propaganda against CPEC

ISLAMABAD: The Ambassador of China to Pakistan, Yao Jing on Friday called upon the media to play its role in nullifying the effects of propaganda against the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).  

"Media is a major vehicle of information and platform of interaction", he said while addressing the 5th CPEC Media Forum, and added "media from both Pakistan and China have already been playing role in promoting state-to-state relations."

Speaking in the backdrop of statement by US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Alice Wells made on Friday, the envoy said that Pak-China relations were based on win-win cooperation and were mutually beneficial. He said China had always come forward to assist Pakistan in need without any political or government differences, saying that if Pakistan was in need, China would never ask Pakistan to repay its loans in time, however the International Monetary Fund (IMF), that is mainly governed by the West, was strict in its repayment system.

He questioned why the US had suspended its aid promised for Pakistan only because of political priorities. In his statement, the US diplomat had warned Pakistan that it faced long-term economic damage with little return if China keeps pursuing its giant infrastructure push. The Chinese envoy expressed his astonishment over Alice Wells' statement of higher tariff in power plants, established under CPEC, saying that he himself had earlier briefed her about the tariff structure of these power plants and told that the tariff structure was the lowest among all the countries to which the Chinese companies provide electricity.

"When in 2013, the Chinese companies were establishing power plants in Pakistan, where was the US? Why it did not invest in Pakistan's power sector despite knowing that Pakistan was in dire need of electricity". With respect to the US' allegation of corruption in CPEC projects, Yao Jing said it was easy to allege anyone without having evidences.

He said that he himself had discussed this matter with a number of concerned stakeholders including National Accountability Bureau (NAB), but did not find even a single evidence of corruption in any CPEC project. "My dear American colleague, before alleging anyone, please be careful that you have enough evidences about certain allegations," he added.

With regard to the Main Line (ML-1) railway project that is to be executed under CPEC, the Chinese envoy clarified that the project cost is around $9 billion, however it is only estimation and it is not final cost. "The real cost of the project will be finalized in the second stage of determining financial package of the project," he said.

He also reacted over the US' blame of providing less employment opportunities to Pakistani workers in CPEC projects, saying that so far over 75000 Pakistani workers had been given job opportunities in the projects and that by 2030, around 2.3 million jobs are expected to be created in CPEC projects. "I would be happier to see more investment coming from the United States in Pakistan." Yao Jing said China was determined to build capacities of Pakistani businessmen and industrialists to boost productivity in the country which would ultimately help in increasing the exports of Pakistan.—APP


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