Millennium Post

US stance on CPEC will have 'no impact' on project: Qureshi

Islamabad: Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has asserted that the US view on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will have "no impact" on the ambitious project, after a senior Trump administration official warned Islamabad that the project would take a toll on the cash-strapped country's economy.

The CPEC is a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking China's resource-rich Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region with Pakistan's strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.

The project was launched in 2015 when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Islamabad and it now envisages investment of over USD 60 billion in different infrastructure projects of development in Pakistan.

In-charge of South Asia affairs at the US State Department, Alice Wells, last week said that the CPEC would take a toll on Pakistan's economy in future.

She made the remarks while responding to a question Thursday during her appearance at the Wilson Center think-tank in Washington.

"I think what CPEC exemplifies is what happens when you de-link investment and development from established best practices and infrastructure development," Wells said.

According to Wells, there's been a tendency to conflate the CPEC with grant assistance rather than understanding it to be the loans, and loans not at concessional rates, that it is.

"We want China to be a responsible supporter and funder of infrastructure. No one country can do that. We all need to help work to ensure that countries have meaningful choices for sustainable and quality infrastructure, Wells said.

"What I think we all need to question and where we all need to push is, why isn't China adopting international standards?" Wells asked.

Responding to another question, Wells said that United States does not feel threatened by the CPEC.

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