As westerners flee, Chinese workers land in droves in turbulent Pakistan

Friday, September 11, 2009

ISLAMABAD - Amid the exodus of foreign officials from Pakistan due to security fears, China has rather increased its involvement in the strife torn country.

According to an estimate the number of Chinese engineers has shot up dramatically to 10,000 in 2009 from 3000 in 2008.

Various Chinese companies are working on over 120 projects in different sectors across Pakistan.

Beijing’s focus is on the Gilgit-Baltistan region where it is involved in the construction of a 750-kilometer railway track linking the two countries, The Asia Times Online reports.

China’s increasing interest in Pakistan was highlighted recently when during a press conference Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Lou Zhaohui, stressed that Beijing was committed to complete all projects in Pakistan undertaken by it.

“A number of foreigners have left Pakistan, but we are committed to complete all the projects on which Chinese are working,” Zhaohui said.

Zhaohui also informed that Beijing has provided one billion dollars to Islamabad to enable it to fight the sagging economy and boost its foreign reserves.

“Pakistan is the only country in the world to which China has given such a huge amount on very low interest rate,” he said. (ANI)

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