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    Tuesday, June 13, 2017

    CPEC project won’t lead to new colonialism in Pakistan: China

    A Chinese newspaper on Tuesday took exception to a Pakistani scholar’s remarks that Pakistan will become a “colony of China” once the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is operationalised, describing it as an example of the deceptive use of history.
    “Concerns that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will result in colonialism in Pakistan by China are not new and still wrong,” an article in the state-run Global Times said, countering top Pakistani political economist S Akbar Zaidi’s assertion that the project may bring some power and jobs in the short run but would enslave the country in the long run.
    “People often use warnings from history, but those warnings can sometimes be misplaced. The CPEC – a flagship project under the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative – would be a new form of colonialism seems to be an obvious example of the deceptive use of history,” the article said.
    The Global Times article while refuting Zaidi’s charge said, “of course, only time will tell whether or not there will be a repeat of colonialism under the B&R”.
    “But irresponsible use of history is misleading for the public’s understanding of the CPEC. So far, at least based on what China has done in Pakistan, it is hard to link the CPEC project with China trying to exploit Pakistan economically. It’s also hard to understand how some infrastructure projects could threaten a country’s sovereignty,” it said.
    “The accusation is essentially a conspiracy theory which, without any foundation, presents China as an evil investor and treats the countries relying on Chinese investment to prop up the local economy as brainless recipients,” the article said.
    Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met 'several times' during the recently-held Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Astana, Kazakhastan, China said Monday.
    Beijing’s statement comes days after reports said Xi had skipped a customary meeting with Sharif at the SCO summit after two Chinese teachers were abducted in Balochistan last month.
    “Some reports are just nonsense and unwanted,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said, according to the Press Trust of India. “China and Pakistan enjoy an all-weather strategic partnership.”However, the spokesperson did not confirm if the meetings between Xi and Sharif were bilateral in nature or not.
    On June 8, it was reported that two Chinese citizens who were kidnapped from Quetta by the militant Islamic State group had been killed.
    China had condemned the incident saying the abduction highlighted the 'risks' associated with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Hindustan Times had reported.
    Last week it was reported that Xi had held meetings with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, except Sharif at the SCO summit.
    Meanwhile, it was also reported that PM Nawaz had met with the presidents of Kazakhstan, Russia and Afghanistan, but did not meet Xi.
    Lu said all member nations at the summit had agreed to “build on the Shanghai spirit” and step up the cooperation between the new and old members.
    “The summit has realised the first-ever membership enlargement of the SCO,” Lu said. “As you know India and Pakistan have got full membership.”
    The spokesperson further said that the summit appreciated the Belt Road Forum which was held in Beijing last month. This forum was boycotted by India over concerns relating to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.
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    Item Reviewed: CPEC project won’t lead to new colonialism in Pakistan: China Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Abdul Sattar Qamar