A spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zhao Lijian, said that the power projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) have not incurred a debt burden on Pakistan because they were investment projects.
During his regular briefing, he affirmed, “I can say this with good authority that these energy projects are a commercial investment where Chinese companies invested in Pakistan. They do not incur debt burdens on the Pakistani side because they are investment projects”.
He said this in response to a question about Pakistan’s request to China to reschedule its debts to the tune of around $22 billion for the power projects that China has funded.
He said, “We have responded to similar questions on many occasions. I don’t know how you got your specific figure”.
Zhao Lijian said that the CPEC has numerous power and energy cooperation projects. He added that he has been worked in Pakistan for many years and that he is very familiar with the energy projects and the CPEC.
“So, these loans are from Chinese companies. The Pakistani government doesn’t need to pay back anything,” he explained.
He also declared that the construction and operation of the energy projects under the CPEC are progressing very well, and that they were providing steady and affordable power sources in addition to contributing to the tax revenues while producing tangible, economic, and social benefits.
“We have every confidence that the China-Pakistan Energy Cooperation will continue to make greater contributions to Pakistan’s national development and livelihood improvement,” he stated.
Official data reveals that 22 energy and power projects will be constructed under the CPEC, while nine of them have been completed and are boosting Pakistan’s energy needs.
These projects have contributed 5340 MW of electricity to the main grid and are helping to meet the country’s vital needs for industry, agriculture, and domestic consumers.
Another eight energy projects are near completion and will pump an additional 4470 MW of electricity to the national grid, while five more projects are in the planning and implementation phase.