Deputy Chief Mission of Chinese Embassy, Lijian Zhao on Monday said that transparency is essential to minimise corruption and ensure success of all China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. Addressing a seminar titled ''CPEC & Role of Media - Separating Facts from Misconceptions,'' Zhao said the idea of CPEC was initiated by former President Asif Ali Zardari in 2013 and he introduced the prime minister in waiting of that time to Premier Li to discuss the idea of CPEC.
"The CPEC is a national project of Pakistan and it is a part of One Belt One Road initiative," Zhao said. Dispelling negative impressions related to the CPEC, he said that it was rumor that Chinese prisoners were working at various projects in Pakistan. He said this project contributes in promotion of Pakistan-China connectivity and will support and strengthen the relationship.
While talking about the principle guidelines, he said the foremost thing was scientific planning. Afterwards step by step implementation is required. He said consensus has been built through consultation which will eventually give multiple benefits resulting in win-win situation, while insurance of quality and safety is another aspect, he added. The government''s guidance and operation will be required on every stage, he further said.
"There are several myths related to CPEC and we have been hearing about such incorrect information all over," he said.
The Chinese envoy explained that the Chinese manpower working at CPEC projects faced security issues therefore they were taken to the camps close to work sites under security cover from the airports.
"Since they worked hard at the site, there was not much time for them to move in other areas and whenever their work tenure ended, they were taken to the airport under security," Zhao said.
He also said that the other rumor was that old coal-based power plants were imported from China. He highlighted that two coal-based power plants were established in Pakistan which are modern and state-of-the-art plants.
"Only two coal-based power plants have been established in Pakistan with Chinese support but around 1,000 plants have been established in China and even in the US coal plays a key role in power generation," he said adding, "Currently China has a highly developed expertise in coal-based power sector including manufacturing its generation plants."
He said that other rumors circulating around were that Pakistan has been indebted by China and quoted Pakistan''s official figures that only ten percent of Pakistan''s government to government debt was from China.
Forty-two percent of Pakistan''s foreign loans are from multilateral lending agencies including the IMF, World Bank, etc, and 18 percent Pakistan''s foreign debt is from Paris Club.
Other speakers including Dr Ishrat Husain, former Governor State Bank of Pakistan, and Ikram Sehgal, member World Economic Forum, highlighted the importance of CPEC. They were asked if lack of transparency and corruption in Pakistan could hit the CPEC projects too. Sehgal, however, replied that it depends on the outcome of July elections.
Information Minister Barrister Ali Zafar addressing on the occasion recalled that first airline that landed in China from non-communist countries was that of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). When all the countries were opposing as the world was divided into eastern and western blocks, Pakistan began friendship with China.
He said, "Whenever we have a problem or issue, we first think of China as a friend. China always supported Pakistan in its hour of need."
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the project of economic cooperation and an example of friendship of two countries, he said adding in the China''s One Belt and One Road initiative, CPEC is the most successful project and not only both countries but the whole region would benefit from it.