Wall Street Journal report claimed that the projects initiated under CPEC are leading Pakistan into a debt crisis. Ever-increasing Chinese loan and imported items for projects like Orange Line Train have created a debt trap around the country.
In response to this report, the Chinese embassy in Pakistan issued a statement that the WSJ article saying that CPEC has led to a debt crisis in Pakistan is an irresponsible statement that has not really shown the reality.
The Chinese embassy in a press release stated, “The report from the Wall Street Journal severely deviates from the facts. As a major pilot project of Belt and Road Initiative, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has achieved great progress in the last 5 years.
Adding, “CPEC has effectively alleviated energy crisis and infrastructure shortage which are considered as two bottlenecks in Pakistan’s development, and played a positive role in maintaining the relatively high economic growth in Pakistan.”
Talking about the Orange Line Metro Project, Chinese embassy said that it “has been widely welcomed by the Pakistani government and people, creating a large number of job opportunities. After the completion, it will greatly ease the traffic congestion in Lahore and provide people with affordable energy-saving transportation.”
Furthermore talking about the debt in Pakistan and the reasons for it Chinese embassy said, “According to data released by the Pakistani government, 42% of the foreign debt of Pakistan is from multilateral financial institutions, 18% of the debt is from Paris Club. Chinese preferential loans only account for only 10% of whole foreign debt and offer a much lower rate than commercial bank loans.”
Chinese Embassy in Pakistan said, “As to the people who fabricated the lie that the so-called “debt trap” in Pakistan is caused by CPEC if they are unable to offer tangible assistance to Pakistan, they can at least try to put the sincere cooperation between other countries in perspective.”
The embassy made it clear that the start of the debt crisis in Pakistan did not begin with China.
Concluding, “The cooperation under CPEC has always adhered to the principles of mutual benefit, equality and reciprocity, follows the golden rules of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. The planning and implementation of the CPEC has been discussed both sides in the open. No country is dominating the process. Both sides have an equal say. Firmly promoting CPEC is an across-party national consensus in Pakistan and received the wholehearted support from the Pakistani people. We believe that the CPEC will be advanced in a steady manner in accordance with the consensus reached by China and Pakistan without being disturbed by other factors. We hope that relevant media reports could respect the truth, take off their tinted glasses, and make more objective, unbiased and all-sided reports. Their readers deserve the true story.”