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BEIJING:Beijing said on Thursday the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework was moving forward against a headwind posed by Covid-19 pandemic and promoting economic development and people’s livelihood in Pakistan.

Speaking at a regular briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian rejected reports that the work on the CPEC, a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), had slowed down over the past three and half a year.

“The CPEC has been moving forward against a headwind posed by Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, it is promoting economic development and people’s livelihood in Pakistan, and has been recognised by all spectrum of Pakistan,” Zhao said.

“So-called claim that little has been achieved and no programme was approved over the past three and half years… [is] pure disinformation,” he said. “Over the three and a half years under the framework, many livelihood projects have been approved and implemented, delivering tangible benefits.”

Zhao emphasised that he and his colleagues had shared the positive progress achieved in the CPEC framework with the media on many occasions. “CPEC as an important pilot project under the BRI framework follows the principles of joint consultation and contribution for shared benefits,” he added.

“Recently, we have seen President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan and some media’s positive comments on the progress made in the CPEC flagship project, the foreign ministry spokesperson told reporters.

Zhao said that under the CPEC, agriculture working group, technical working group and technological and scientific working groups had been established. About the railway projects, he pointed out that it was a project with huge investment, and that the two sides were having consultation on it.

Responding to a question about the Dasu dam project, he set aside the reports that the Chinese contractor had demobilised from the site and raised several demands as preconditions to resume the work. “I’m not aware of the situation ... As far as I know the Dasu hydropower project has resumed.”

Recently, the spokesperson had said in a statement that the CPEC framework was an important platform and project under the BRI. He added that the flagship project had entered an important stage. “Going forward, the two countries will focus on industries, science and people’s welfare,” he said.