‘No Transparency In CPEC, Contracts Given To Companies Blacklisted By World Bank’: US Diplomat Alice Wells      Alice G Wells. (via Twitter)

Senior US diplomat for South Asia region Alice Wells, on Wednesday (22 January) criticised the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) for not having any transparency in the projects, reports Wion News.

Wells who was speaking at an event in Pakistan, said that under the multi-billion project contracts were given to companies which are blacklisted by World Bank.

Wells was categorical about the lack of transparency in the CPEC projects and said that Pakistan's debt burden was growing due to the Chinese financing. It will increase a cash-strapped Pakistan's debt burden and it was time to rethink of its involvement in this multi-billion dollar project of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"By getting Chinese financing for the projects, Pakistan was buying expensive loans and as a buyer, it needed to be aware that what it was doing would take a heavy toll on its already struggling economy," Wells said.

While speaking at the prestigious Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars on 21 November 2019, Wells noted that the multi-billion-dollar initiative was driven by non-concessionary loans and she said, “CPEC relies primarily on Chinese workers and supplies, even amid rising unemployment in Pakistan.”

Wells said, CPEC would profit only Beijing and the US offered a better model. The acting assistant secretary of state for South Asia added, “It’s clear, or it needs to be clear, that CPEC is not about aid.”

Many experts believe CPEC is nothing but a “debt trap” and it will not address the growing unemployment in Pakistan as China predominantly uses its own citizens and supplies. In few years it will take a great toll on the Pakistan economy when it will have to repay the loans given at very high interest rates in the next four to six years.

CPEC was launched under the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in which China planned develop a network of roads, railways and energy projects linking China's resource-rich Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region with Pakistan's strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea which is very close to Strait of Hormuz.

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