KARACHI: The killing of a Chinese citizen Chen Zhu in the metropolitan city of Karachi has raised significant risk of derailing Beijing’s investment in Pakistan.
According to a Bloomberg report, the incident highlights the insecurity still plaguing Pakistan and the death of the Chinese citizen employed by a local unit of Cosco Shipping Lines saw China issue calls for providing more security to its nationals.
Data shared by the Chinese government in August last year with Bloomberg revealed over 20,000 Chinese nationals had moved to Pakistan in lieu of rising opportunities in Pakistan, over double that compared to 2015.
But Pakistani hotels are brimming with visitors from China and can be observed by their presence in shopping malls and in weekend crowds at markets, said Bloomberg.
Also, Chairman Pathfinder Group and ex-army officer, Ikram Sehgal believes the threat level after this killing will certainly rise in respect to the Chinese and would hurt business sentiment in businessman coming to the country from China.
Aleena Ali, researcher at security consultancy Control Risks told Bloomberg that the country faces an “unprecedented situation whereby growing foreign direct investment is accompanied by a significant increase in the physical presence of foreign nationals. It will be challenging for security forces to maintain a secure environment for all Chinese nationals.”
As Pakistan’s ties with US touched a new low in January, Pakistan’s dependency on China is rising. In January, US President Donald Trump cut over $2 billion in military aid to Islamabad when the country’s foreign currency reserves are declining.
And the business community in Karachi has called for more action and doesn’t want to frighten China, Bloomberg said.