Beijing: China on Monday dismissed as unfounded reports that it had demanded additional guarantees from Pakistan to sanction a large $ 6 billion loan for a railway project and withdraw from its initial multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic commitments The corridor due to the weakening of the financial position of his ally for all seasons.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian also dismissed reports that China was pulling out of its initial financial promises with Pakistan under the $ 60 billion CPEC amid growing corruption and militant attacks.
These reports are baseless, Zhao told a news conference here.
I would also like to point out that against the global economic recession, China’s contribution to the Belt and Roads Initiative (BRI) including CPEC has not diminished but rather increased despite disagreements, he said.
During the first three quarters, China’s direct financial investment in the BRI countries increased by about 30 percent, offering China support to many BRI partner countries in their efforts to fight the epidemic and recover their economy, he said.
CPEC, which connects Gwadar Port in Pakistan’s Balochistan with China’s Xinjiang province, is China’s ambitious multi-billion dollar BRI project. India has expressed concern about the project as part of CPEC passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Pakistani media recently reported that China has sought additional guarantees before sanctioning a $ 6 billion loan for the Main Line-1 (ML-1) railway project due to the weakening financial position of Islamabad.
The ML-1 project, which includes the dualization and modernization of the 1,872km railway line from Peshawar to Karachi, is a milestone for the second phase of CPEC.
The Express Tribune newspaper had reported that China also proposed a mix of trade and concessional loans to finance the railway project, going against Islamabad’s wishes for cheaper borrowing.
A senior Pakistani official involved in the negotiations said China raised the additional guarantee issue during the third joint ML-1 Financing Committee Meeting on December 13, but did not make it part of the draft minutes shared with Pakistan.
The official said China raised the additional guarantee issue to get clarity on Pakistan’s financial situation after it made a debt relief request from the G-20 countries, which is intended only for the world’s poorest nations.