Chinese Diplomat Trashes NY Times’ Story Against CPEC as ‘Joke of The Year’

The Chinese Embassy in Islamabad has rubbished an article that appeared in the New York Times where it was alleged that China is pushing Pakistan into a ‘debt trap’.

Deputy Chief of Mission at the Chinese Embassy, Lijian Zhao, defended his country’s investment in Pakistan especially under the banner of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Lijian Zhao took to Twitter to dismiss the NYT report as the “joke of the year”.

He tweeted: “Joke of the year. An article full of wrong numbers and lies. CPEC loan to Pakistan is only $6billion instead of $23billion. It is only 6% of total debt of Pakistan of $95billion. Is this a debt trap? It was the western countries which pushed Pakistan into that trap.”

The diplomat, while giving details of debt Pakistan owes to China, said that Islamabad owed only $6 billion to Beijing out of its total $95 billion foreign debts.

Lijian Zhao said that instead of China it was western countries who pushed Pakistan to a debt trap. The diplomat also contradicted the figure of $23 billion, which the article says Pakistan owes to China.

Responding to the contention of the article that China’s investment in Pakistan comes with “military strings attached”, Zhao said that the phrase military string was wrong.

The correct way to phrase the cooperation between the neighboring countries is “defense cooperation and technology transfers”.

“Strings are something like Washington Consensus that your master always pulls. BTW, Chinese defense cooperation with Pakistan is not new and has been there since the 1950s,” the Chinese envoy said.

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