CPEC won’t lead to a debt trap, says China

Foreign Minister Wang says on Pakistan visit that only four of the 18 projects use concessional loan
China has rejected accusations that its financial backing for the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a “debt trap” that could compromise Islamabad’s sovereignty. Beijing has billed the Gwadar to Kashgar corridor as the flagship of China-led Belt and Road Initiative . Mounting a robust defence of its ‘no-strings-attached’ backing for CPEC, China’s visiting Foreign Minister Wang Yi asserted during an Islamabad press conference on Saturday that among the 22 projects within the framework of CPEC, 18 involved investment and aid and only four of them used concessional loan. He stressed that nine of these projects have already been completed and 13 are under construction.
Army assures support
Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, Pakistan Army chief, assured Mr. Wang that the military will “guarantee” the smooth development of CPEC, the state-run Xinhua agency reported. “[Mr.] Wang said that the Pakistani military is the protector of the China-Pakistan friendship, and the bilateral military relations are an important part of the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries and a symbol of their high political mutual trust,” Xinhua said.
Gen. Bajwa also reassured Mr. Wang that Pakistan was committed to firmly fight the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) as part of its counterterrorism effort. The ETIM was founded by Uighur separatists whose stated goal is to establish East Turkestan as a separate state in Xinjiang. In talks on Afghanistan, Mr. Wang spotlighted the undiminished relevance of the trilateral China-Pakistan-Afghanistan dialogue as a platform to align perceptions between Islamabad and Kabul. Last year, at the inaugural meeting of the trilateral mechanism in Beijing, Mr. Wang had offered Afghanistan participation in CPEC. China has also apparently agreed to train an Afghan mountain brigade without putting any boots on the ground in Afghanistan.
Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-international/cpec-wont-lead-to-a-debt-trap-says-china/article24911635.ece

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