Chinese President Xi Jinping has postponed a visit to Pakistan citing coronavirus concerns. The announcement came even as chairman of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Lt Gen Asim Bajwa (retd), came under fire for corruption.
Chinese envoy to Pakistan Yao Jing, while announcing the postponement, said China and Pakistan would “together overcome” the “challenges” to the project. Xi’s visit was announced in February for possibly June. For Yaoto announce the postponement this week may mean that both sides want to keep the prospect of a visit alive.
A twist this week came with the abduction of the joint director of Pakistan’s Securities and Exchange Commission, Sajid Gondal. Reports seem to indicate a link to the Bajwa scandal.
Reports from Pakistan have been quick to deny any link between Bajwa and Pakistan army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa. There are questions about why it was important to raise the question of corruption in CPEC. Some Pakistan watchers say it could have to do with a part of the military establishment resisting the almost complete involvement between the Pakistani establishment and China, risking alienation from the west, which is gearing up for a virtual Cold War with China.


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