1. Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Zhao Lijian in Twitter spat with Cyril Almeida says fed up of criticism of CPEC

Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Zhao Lijian in Twitter spat with Cyril Almeida says fed up of criticism of CPEC

Chinese ambassador in Pakistan Zhao Lijian has lambasted the criticism of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

By: | Updated: December 21, 2016 12:29 AM
Chinese ambassador in Pakistan Zhao Lijian has lambasted the criticism of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). (Twitter) Chinese ambassador in Pakistan Zhao Lijian has lambasted the criticism of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). (Twitter)

Chinese ambassador in Pakistan Zhao Lijian has lambasted the criticism of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on Monday. The Chinese diplomat did this during a Twitter debate with Pakistani journalist Cyril Almeida and denied the allegations of corruption and unequal distribution of projects under the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. CPEC was announced in 2013, which aims to facilitate trade along an overland route that connects Kashgar in China and the Gwadar port in Pakistan. A network of highways, railways and pipelines are being constructed under the project.

In a seminar organised by Strategic Vision Institute (SVI), Zhao said, “CPEC is working well. But there are some people who are maligning the project, which enjoys the support of most of the people of Pakistan.” He also dismissed allegations of corruption in the CPEC, as per an India TV report.

Zhao Lijian yesterday tweeted and termed the allegation like “China using Prisoners as labour to save costs under CPEC” as “nonsense”. He got offensive on Twitter on those who accuse CPEC projects of corruption, which took a debatable turn, resulting in a public spat with senior journalist from Dawn, Cyril Almeida. Zhao further commented about senior journalists believing stories of “Chinese prisoners in CPEC projects” questioning whether “they are out of mind.”

In response, Almeida tweeted:

Earlier at the seminar, the diplomat clarified by saying, “This is all taxpayer’s money. These are investment projects. How can we tolerate corruption or bribe.” Zhao also said all information was readily available, when he was questioned about the alleged secrecy. He also said that some people are making false allegations and said public support was needed to counter the “disinformation” campaigns by the opponents of CPEC.

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Journalist Cyril Almeida was in the news recently after Pakistan barred him from leaving the country for his story on a rift between the country’s civilian and military leaderships.

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