CPEC Media Forum; Speakers rebut Alice Wells Critique of CPEC as “unfounded propaganda”, Ambassador Yao Jing says “CPEC is Clean”
Islamabad, November 22, 2019 (GNP): The 5th CPEC media forum had lively presentations from a number of speakers who criticized United States, acting assistant secretary of state Alice Wells speech last night in Washington where she had attacked, CPEC terming her speech as “Unfounded Propaganda”.
In his keynote address, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing said that he was “shocked and surprised” at the Alice Wells speech which “fully exposes her ignorance of Pakistan China relations”.
He said that CPEC projects had been fully investigated by both Chinese and Pakistani side and the unanimous conclusion is that “CPEC is clean”. The Chinese ambassador said that Pakistan government announced its new power policy in 2013, and he wondered that why United States didn’t come then in Pakistan to invest in Power sector. He said we welcome American investment in Pakistan, we don’t have problem with it, but US should not cause aspersion over something they don’t have accurate information on. Ambassador Yao Jing said 75,000 Pakistanis are directly employed in CPEC projects while there are 200,000 indirect beneficiaries and over 100 local Pakistani companies are involved in CPEC projects, which will generate 2.3 million jobs till 2030 and contribute 2-2.5% to Pakistan’s GDP.
Senator Mushahid Hussain in his welcome address, said that Pakistan China relations and the success of CPEC “rankles many” both in the region as well as outside the region, hence while they cannot stop or slow the project, now they are trying to undermine it through negative propaganda. He said that its ironical that on one hand US is opposing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as well as CPEC but on the other hand the US is taking steps to have a “copycat project” through the recently passed BUILD ACT and the newly established International Development Finance Cooperation, which has outlay in infrastructure and other areas of $60 billion. Talking about the so-called Debt trap, Senator Mushahid Hussain said 91% of the Pakistani debt is owed to the west, including multilateral institutions and only 9% to China. He also said that US should focus on Facts rather than peddling the Indian narrative on CPEC, which has no foundation whatsoever. Senator Mushahid Hussain said that it was amazing that allegations of corruption were being repeated based merely on media speculations while no government authorities found evidence of any kind of corruption in CPEC projects.
Senator Shibli Faraz thanked the contributions of Pakistan-China Institute and reaffirmed the commitment of government of Pakistan to promotion and preservation of CPEC and taking it forward to next stage which will reap big dividends for the nation.
Prominent members of the Chinese Media delegation of 10 members headed by Mr. Cui Jun, Editor in Chief – China Economic Net (CEN) also spoke and talked of the partnership between CEN and PCI to promote Media cooperation between two sides. The media delegation including Ms. Meng Yu Hong – Vice Editor in Chief, Global Times.
Syed Fakhar Imam presided over the afternoon session where he thanked China for his support on the Kashmir Issue, also referred to the reforms and opening up policy of Deng Xiaoping particularly focus on education and he underlined need for a University on Science and Technology and institute of agriculture with Chinese funding in Pakistan. Senator Mushahid introduced book on CPEC by prominent journalist Saleem Safi, which was presented to the Chinese delegation, while Mian Abrar introduced his new magazine, DIPLOMAG as the first China focused publication in Pakistan. Special awards were given to journalists for their contributions in strengthening CPEC and China Pakistan relations.