Pakistan's economy is in utter shambles with the country's Prime Minister currently in Saudi Arabia to seek financial assistance. Imran Khan would follow up the visit to Riyadh with a trip to Malaysia and then to China - a country which has funded several projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. And it is CPEC that is being suspected as the reason for the financial woes of Pakistan.
Attempting to mount a strong defence of CPEC, China has refuted charges that Pakistan's current economic state is due to these projects. Dawn reported that Professor Son Hongqi, advisor to the President on Pakistan Affairs, has said that blaming CPEC is uncalled for and that it in fact is what would bolster Pakistani economy in the years to come. "Loan repayments for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects will start in the financial year 2023-24 when economic growth rate of Pakistan will be much higher than present," he was quoted as saying at a conference on CPEC in China's Xuzhou. "What will China gain from energy projects given priority in the first phase of CPEC as per desire of Islamabad other than helping our all-weather friend to overcome the electricity deficiency badly hitting its economy."
Hongqi also said that CPEC projects in Pakistan would involve more locals than ever before, which in turn would bolster the country's economy.
The defence of CPEC was, perhaps, necessiated from the fact that there is a rising voice in Pakistan against it. Many have questioned the loans taken from China and asked the terms for their repayment. Even the United States has said that the current state of Pakistani economy is a result of loans it has taken from Beijing and has made it clear that it won't allow any bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which would be used by Islamabad to repay Chinese debt.