ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs passed a unanimous resolution against the “uncalled for, unwarranted and unprecedented” statement of US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Ambassador Alice Wells on CPEC and Pakistan-China relations.
The resolution rejected the statement as unacceptable interference in “Pakistan’s sovereign right to exercise policy choices that best protect and promote its national interests”.
A heated debate was generated last week, after Wells, speaking at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, said Pakistan faced long-term economic damage with little return if China keeps pursuing its giant infrastructure push.
Hours after her speech in Washington, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, gave a point-by-point reply to Wells assertions, stressing that the CPEC was win-win cooperation for the benefit of the two countries.
And on Saturday, a day after a rare public slugfest between top Chinese and American diplomats, Planning Minister Asad Umar jumped into the fray, brushing aside US concerns as “wrong analysis” and called CPEC a “blessing” for Pakistan.
“The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee feels that casting aspersions, promoting fiction and presenting a biased perspective on CPEC, which is already a success story, only shows the extent to which certain quarters can go in their obsession of ‘countering’ China,” the committee said in a statement.
The committee also urged the government to make it clear in unequivocal terms that Pakistan will not tolerate any dictation from any country that seeks to undermine Pakistan-China relations, which are not only a factor for stability in the region but also are a pillar of Pakistan’s foreign policy.