China to increase investments in Pakistan amid changing geopolitics

·2-min read
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Washington [US], May 30 (ANI): China has offered to substantially increase its investments in Pakistan following a period in which it had stopped "spending money left and right" due to reported corruption in both the countries, according to a media report.

The decision was made to boost the morale of Islamabad in view of prevailing international situation, reported the Frontier Post.

Beijing has offered to increase the "size of its carrot" meaning investments and loans to Islamabad, the publication reported citing a source in China.

The offer to increase its financial assistance, however, comes with a caveat that China expects Pakistan to take a bold stand to with regard to its policies with the United States.

The recent statement by Pakistan Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi's that his country will not give any new bases to the United States was not able to satisfy China, reported The Frontier Post.

Pakistan is weighing its options on how to deal with both China and the United States, especially with respect to the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, said the publication.

Meanwhile according to a Asia Times report, the Pentagon has confirmed, the US is currently in talks with Pakistan on bases and that Islamabad has agreed to give the US "overflight access" to support its mission in Afghanistan.

Pakistan highly values its relations with China despite disputes over debts and stalled building projects on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is a USD 60 billion Belt and Road Initiative by Beijing.

However, local populace in Pakistan has been contesting such Chinese-led investment-oriented development strategies. Concerns about debt traps, lack of transparency, aggressive diplomacy, and friction due to excessive use of Chinese labour have often resulted in discord at the local level.

Chinese projects face significant resistance in Balochistan, which was exemplified last month when a car bomb explosed at a hotel in Quetta in which the Chinese ambassador was staying.

Last year, there were protests by Pakistani labourers working on Chinese-funded projects in Karachi on the issue of unequal pay, and there were protests in Muzaffarabad, a city in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), against the construction of dams by Chinese firms on the Neelum and Jhelum rivers.

It was also reported in 2018 that "some Chinese nationals associated with the Chinese army ... attacked and injured police personnel deployed for their security". (ANI)

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