Defying threats, Chinese companies to continue working on CPEC projects

ISLAMABAD: Irrespective of the recent terrorist attack on Chinese engineers, China on Friday vowed to “continue to develop bilateral cooperation with Pakistan and promote the second phase of China Pakistan Economic Corridor with high quality development” in collaboration with Pakistan.

China also has instructed its workers to resume work on the Tarbela Dam extension project days after five Chinese engineers were killed in the Besham suicide attack.

As per an office circular issued by the Power Construction Corporation of China Ltd, on March 28, “workers and office staff will be back to work after such short time suspension”.

“China will continue to develop bilateral cooperation and promote the second phase of CPEC with high-quality development in collaboration with Pakistan,” said an earlier statement issued by the Chinese foreign ministry.

Previously, reports in Indian media claimed that following the attack a “Chinese company halted civil works and let go of hundreds of workers at a hydropower [plant] in Pakistan”.

However, the office order from the Chinese construction company brought Indian media claims to naught.

Following the attack, the Chinese embassy and consulate generals in Pakistan strongly condemned the terrorist attack.

“Pakistan and China have the determination and ability to make terrorists pay the price for their actions, and any attempt to undermine China-Pakistan cooperation will not succeed,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lin Jian said.

The clear message from the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson shows that no attempt to sabotage Sino-Pak cooperation will be allowed to succeed.

He also reiterated China’s stance on terrorism. “Terrorism is the common enemy of all human beings, and it is the shared responsibility of the international community to combat terrorism and prevent the recurrence of such tragedies.”

China firmly supports Pakistan’s counterterrorism efforts, Lin said. China will continue to support Pakistan’s economic development, social development and the improvement of its people’s livelihoods, he added, and it will undertake firm cooperation with Pakistan in various fields to bring benefits to the two peoples.

Separately, Islamabad also said on Thursday that there remains no doubt that the suicide attack in Besham was orchestrated by enemies of Pakistan-China friendship.

“Together, we will resolutely act against all such acts and forces and defeat them,” said FO Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch.

She further expressed Islamabad’s determination to work with Beijing in ensuring the safety and security of Chinese nationals, projects and institutions in Pakistan.

Mian Abrar
Mian Abrar
The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He tweets as @mian_abrar and also can be reached at [email protected]

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