Pakistan having second thoughts on China’s BRI

DHARAMSALA, Sept 12: China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative(BRI) made headlines lately for all the wrong reasons and it has suffered a yet another blow as its all-weather friend Pakistan now has second thoughts about the Chinese investments.

Pakistan should rethink investments from China, a top adviser to the country’s newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan has said according to a report on The Washington Post.

“The previous government did a bad job negotiating with China on CPEC — they didn’t do their homework correctly and didn’t negotiate correctly so they gave away a lot,” Pakistan’s cabinet minister Abdul Razak Dawood has told the Financial Times in an interview.

While Islamabad’s previous administration has cosied up to China, the development hints towards a possible U-turn under the Imran Khan’s new administration, the report noted.

However, a day later, Dawood’s Ministry of Commerce and Textile has reportedly issued a statement saying his remarks were taken out of context. “Pakistan-China relations are impregnable and the government’s commitment to the CPEC is unwavering,” the ministry said in the report.

But Pakistan isn’t the only country getting cold feet. China’s ambitious BRI which aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of Silk Road, has hit a roadblock in many countries across the world.

Though China has maintained that its ambitious “Belt and Road” projects are not a debt trap, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are beginning to display caution towards China’s massive infrastructure investments while Nikkei Asain Review previously reported it as a Belt and Road debt trap.

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