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China temporarily stops funding some CPEC projects, Pak authorities 'stunned'

File photo. Photograph: (Zee News Network)

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 05, 2017, 08.39 AM (IST)

China has "temporarily" stopped funding of some projects in Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan's daily newspaper Dawn reported on Tuesday.

The projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore has been stopped by China till a further decision is made by Chinese authorities regarding 'new guidelines', the Dawn report said.

The projects include  210-km Dera Ismail Khan-Zhob road, the Khuzdar-Basima road and the remaining portion of the 136-km Karakarom Highway which is worth Rs 8.5bn

Last month Pakistan had turned down China's offer of assistance on the Diamer-Bhasha dam after Beijing placed strict conditions including ownership of the project.

China tried to push the Diamer-Bhasha dam under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework but it was rejected by Pakistan's Water and Power Development Authority.

China and Pakistan have signed six pacts to boost cooperation on the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, including one on building an airport at the strategic Gwadar port city.  

Dawn said Chinese authorities are disturbed with increasing news reports being published in Pakistan "regarding corruption in CPEC projects." 

The report also added that Pakistan authorities were "stunned" when they heard about China's decision to temporarily stop the project.

Although Pakistan authorities hope the Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting on will finally get things going again but the "new guidelines" issue has Pakistan on tenterhooks.

In October, unidentified men suspected to be separatist rebels in Baluchistan hurled grenades at a labourers' hostel in Pakistan's Gwadar port which is a key link for China's "One Belt and One Road" project.

However, no organization claimed responsibility for the attack.

China and Pakistan have signed six pacts to boost cooperation on the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, including one on building an airport at the strategic Gwadar port city.

President Xi has made the One Belt, One Road(OBOR) the centrepiece of his foreign policy which is expected to boost China's economy and put China at the forefront of global trade.

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