Pakistan and China to Restructure Beijing’s Debt
According to a former Chinese official, the Chinese believe that the United States shouldn’t ‘bad mouth’ the Pakistan-China relationship or pressure Pakistan and China to restructure Beijing’s debt.
Yun Sun, the former chairperson of China’s Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA), said during a two-day seminar on US-Pakistan relations that China has “plenty of confidence that its relationship with Pakistan is going to continue regardless of the modalities of US-Pakistan relations.”
Pakistan’s relationship with the US is a factor in China’s overall strategy for South Asia.
China Revising or Recalibrating its Expectations
However, she asserted that China was also revising or recalibrating its expectations and strategy toward Pakistan, particularly with regard to the CPEC.
“And as a result of that recalibration, China is almost embracing Pakistan’s decision to rebalance its external policies. And there is a positive outlook that Pakistan is reestablishing contact with the United States,” Ms. Yun said.
China has shown strong support for Pakistan’s revision of its expectations and external alignment strategy.
Recalibrating of US-Pakistan Relations
She claimed that because India was still present and CPEC will continue to be one of the most important initiatives, regardless of public opinion, the Chinese did not think that the recalibrating of US-Pakistan relations would harm their interests in the region.
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She claimed that China’s response to US-Pakistani exchanges was more influenced by what the US had said than by what Pakistan had said.
When asked about China’s response to the US recommendation that Pakistan restructure its debt with Beijing, Ms. Yun replied, “This is none of your concern.”
US wants to Damage Relations Between Pakistan and China
She claimed that she had seen numerous studies from China asserting that the US wants to damage relations between Pakistan and China and pleading with Washington “not to disparage Pakistan-China” relationships.
“We consider its debt load and are concerned about its economy’s expansion. Pakistan is seen approaching the IMF and other lenders. Therefore, it is only proper that the US inquires about Pakistan’s other obligations, including those owed to China,” he said. “We are also concerned about gaps in openness.”
Masood Khan, Pakistan’s representative in Washington, however, emphasised how the end of the Afghan conflict had given Pakistan and the United States the chance to rethink their relationship.
The two-day conference was organised by the Center for Security, Strategy and Policy Research (CSSPR), University of Lahore, the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, and Engro Corporation this week. In his keynote address, Ambassador Khan stated that relations between Pakistan and the US were no longer hyphenated with those of India and Afghanistan.
The envoy stated that “US policy in the past was based on regional equilibrium” and that “the US relationship with India stood on its own.” In the new technological era, he stated, “We are currently engaged to recalibrate, reenergise and reinvigorate a broad-based connection.”
Tahir Afzal, a former chief of naval staff, proposed making amends for previous transgressions in order to improve relations. “Another occurrence is required for the relationship. The relationships will be positive when there is an event. We will change from being the cornerstone of US policy to the most sanctioned country when the event is over,” he added.