Pakistan has said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a bilateral economic project and has no military dimensions.
Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal said this at the weekly media briefing here on Thursday when asked about a US media report that alleged that China has hatched a secret plan to build fighter jets and other military hardware in Pakistan as part of the USD 60 billion project.
The Islamabad datelined report in the New York Times said Pakistani Air Force and Chinese officials were putting the final touches to the secret proposal. China last week dismissed as untrue the report.
Responding to the report, Faisal said the CPEC is an economic project between Pakistan and China, the Dawn reported.
“The CPEC has helped Pakistan improve its economy, particularly energy and infrastructure sectors have improved under it. The CPEC is a bilateral economic project, which is not against any country,” he was quoted as saying by the daily.
The CPEC, which connects Gwadar Port in Balochistan with China’s Xinjiang province, is the flagship project of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
All-weather friends and close allies, China and Pakistan have been jointly building the J-17 Thunder, a single seater multi-role combat aircraft. Pakistan has been eyeing a number of new advanced Chinese jets including the stealth fighter.