China rejects reports over ending financial support to Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: China has rejected reports about gradually ending its financial support to Pakistan pledged under the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Responding to a question during a press briefing in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that such reports are groundless and both countries are resolute in pushing forward the construction of this mega project.
The spokesperson said the CPEC International Coordination and Cooperation Working Group held its second meeting last Friday, in which both sides reiterated their commitment to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries.
Earlier this month, China again bailed out Pakistan as it agreed to immediately provide a $1.5 billion financing line to repay the $2 billion Saudi Arabia debt. China has not given the loan from its State Administration of Foreign Exchange, commonly known as SAFE deposits, nor has it extended a commercial loan. Instead, both the countries have agreed to augment the size of a 2011 bilateral Currency-Swap Agreement (CSA) by an additional 10 billion Chinese Yuan or around $1.5 billion. This has increased the size of the overall trade facility to 20 billion Chinese Yuan or $4.5 billion.
The CSA is a Chinese trade finance facility that Pakistan has been using since 2011 to repay foreign debt and keep its gross foreign currency reserves at comfortable levels instead for trade related purposes.
In a separate media briefing on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that the media of Pakistan and China should continue to play their bonding role to tell the story of cooperation and consolidate iron-clad friendship between the two countries. Wenbin hoped that friends from the press in both countries will continue to play their bonding role in this connection.
He said the Sixth China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Media Forum, hosted by the Chinese embassy in Pakistan and organised by China Economic Net and Pakistan-China Institute, was convened online and offline on December 28.
The spokesperson said the virtual event was attended by around 100 participants including diplomatic envoys from both sides and Chinese and Pakistani representatives from the media, think tanks and universities.
He said under the theme of “Post-epidemic China-Pakistan Media Cooperation”, the participants had in-depth discussions on promoting friendship and cooperation between China and Pakistan, and telling the true, mutually beneficial nature of China Pakistan Economic Corridor cooperation to people of the two countries. – TLTP

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