CPEC projects bear tangible fruits, add no debt burden to Pakistan: Chinese State Councilor

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects have brought tangible fruits and added no debt burden to Pakistan, visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here on Saturday.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Wang said CPEC is an important economic cooperation project implemented on the demand of the Pakistani side.

Within the framework of CPEC, there are currently 22 cooperation projects, of which nine have been completed and 13 are under construction, Wang said.

With a total investment of 19 billion U.S. dollars, the CPEC projects have driven Pakistan's economic growth by increasing 1 to 2 percentage points per year and have created 70,000 new jobs in the country, he noted.

Wang pointed out that the preliminary achievements of CPEC mainly lie in energy and infrastructure sectors, and as to how to push forward CPEC in the next phase, relevant parties should first respect the wishes of the Pakistani side.

According to preliminary agreements, the development of CPEC will focus on helping the Pakistani side to grow its manufacture industry and foster self-development ability so as to increase employment and expand trade, he said.

Wang clarified that among the 22 projects within the framework of CPEC, 18 of them are directly invested or offered aid by the Chinese side, and only four of them use China's concessional loan.

Therefore, it's clear that CPEC projects didn't increase Pakistan's debt burden. On the contrary, these projects will release their economic benefits and bring remarkable economic return to the Pakistani side, Wang said.

China and Pakistan are willing to attract the third party to participate in the construction of CPEC so as to make it not only benefit the Chinese and Pakistani peoples, but also contribute to regional economic cooperation and connectivity, the Chinese state councilor said.

Editor: Dong Ping