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General

US is to undermine Pakistan-China growing trade

Islamabad -- Pakistan-China growing economic cooperation especially under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has prompted the US to enhance trade ties with Pakistan through a new strategy in the wake of a trade war with China.

US South Asia Assistant Secretary Alice Wells earlier had said that CPEC would only benefit Beijing and inflict heavy debt burden on Islamabad a statement which was strongly rejected by both China and Pakistan.

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, while rejecting the statement said Pakistan-China relations are based on win-win cooperation and are mutually beneficial.

The ambassador questioned that when in 2013, the Chinese companies were establishing power plants in Pakistan, where was the US? Why it did not invest in Pakistan's power sector despite knowing that Pakistan was in dire need of electricity.

He said China has always come forward to assist Pakistan in need without any political or government differences.

Soon after Wells' comments last week, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi declared that Pakistan had "rejected that view". He added: "We do not think that the burden of CPEC will increase our debt burden."

Planning Minister Asad Umar also dismissed Wells' claims and said that Pakistan's mounting debt crisis had "nothing to do with China".

After the strong reaction by Pakistan and China, the US Ambassador to Pakistan Paul W. Jones had said that Pakistan as a sovereign state had right to make its decisions.

Now the United States under a new strategy plans to send 15 trade delegations to Pakistan next year to explore possibilities for expanding trade with the country.

Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells has said that the US Commerce Department has already stepped up its activity in Pakistan with 15 trade delegations planned for the next year.

Though it is not clear that these trade delegations would target which sector of Pakistan but one thing is clear that the basic purpose of the US plan is to cut the growing influence of China in Pakistan, its rival in global trade.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA


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