Pakistan rejects China debt trap theories

Foreign Office says public debt in CPEC projects mere 10pc of total outlay

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday debunked the claims being projected about the so-called ‘heavy debt’ related to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), with the Foreign Office once again clarifying that total public debt involved with CPEC outlay was mere 10pc of the country’s overall debt.

“We have reiterated many times that our total public debt relating to CPEC projects is less than even 10pc of the total debt. Moreover, the public debt obtained from China has a maturity period of 20 years and the interest is 2.34pc. If grants are included, the interest value slides down to about two per cent,” said the Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui, rejecting western propaganda over CPEC.

“The claims made by some of the commentators and public officials on Pakistan’s debt obligations relating to CPEC are contrary to facts,” she said, adding that CPEC, a long-term project, has helped address development gaps in energy, infrastructure, industrialization, and job creation.

“Pakistan and China are ‘all-weather strategic cooperative partners’. We are engaged in prompting peace, development and stability in the region based on the principles of mutual respect, mutual benefit, win-win cooperation and shared development. Our ties are based on deep mutual trust and understanding.”

Farooqui said that economic development and long-term prosperity of the people is our government’s top priority.

“CPEC, a flagship project of BRI, is a transformational project contributing positively and transparently to Pakistan’s national development. Pakistan believes that regional economic connectivity will provide a critical stimulus for creating broad-based growth across the region.”

The spokesperson said that Pakistan and China have several mechanisms to discuss matters of mutual interest. Both countries are regularly in touch to address those issues bilaterally.

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