China denies any military deal under CPEC

Published: December 23, 2018
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Representational image. PHOTO: REUTERS

Representational image. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING: China on Saturday outright rejected reports that Beijing had struck a deal with Islamabad on military facilities, including building fighter jets, under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), stressing that the mega project comprises mainly industrial parks and facilities to improve people’s livelihood.

At a daily briefing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Afghanistan is China’s close neighbour, and China would continue to contribute to promoting peace and reconciliation process and help stability in the war torn country.

“According to my information, it is a false report,” Hua said in response to a question that China and Pakistan reportedly reached new deals under CPEC on military facilities, including building fighter jets.

The spokesperson told reporters that CPEC is an important cooperation framework set up by China and Pakistan for long-term bilateral cooperation in all aspects. She added that the corridor committee held the eighth meeting in Beijing on December 20.

“Going forward, we will consult with Pakistan to continue to implement the two leaders’ consensuses, reap the early harvest projects, and step up cooperation projects mainly in industrial parks and facilities improving people’s livelihood,” she said.

Commenting on the planned US withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, she said China upholds “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned” inclusive reconciliation process. “We would like to … help resuming a peaceful, stable and safe situation for Afghan people,” added.

However, when asked about the resignation of US defence secretary, reportedly due to his differences with President Donald Trump over plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Syria, she did not offer any comments.  “It is the internal affairs of the US, and is decided by the US president.”

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