The Chinese regime’s propaganda media speculated that the inauguration of the new Pakistani leader, who took office on Monday following the ousting of radical Islamist Prime Minister Imran Khan, will not bring any detrimental change to the relationship between the two countries, claiming that it would even improve it.
Khan was ousted Sunday through a no-confidence motion passed by Pakistan’s National Assembly, electing Shehbaz Sharif on Monday as the nation’s new head of government.
While Khan was in power, he opened wide the doors to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) most ambitious infrastructure project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), through which the regime offers usurious loans to poor Third World countries.
Through the Belt and Road project, the CCP aims to connect China with the rest of Asia, Africa and Europe.
In 2013, CCP leader Xi Jinping announced the launch of the BRI as an initiative that would bring prosperity to all nations through billion-dollar investments in infrastructure, building railroads, ports, cities, power plants, dams, roads, etc.
The BRI was based on the old Silk Road initiative, but with a more ambitious approach, since in addition to roads, it promised ‘economic corridors,’ with roads, bridges, ports and railroads that connect with maritime routes, greatly shortening the time it takes for a ship with cargo to get from China to Europe.
The China-Pakistan economic corridor was theoretically to connect China directly to the Arabian Sea with a port in Gwadar, but only one third of the agreed infrastructure projects were built, and everything is currently at a standstill.
Nevertheless, Pakistan owes the Chinese regime almost $6 billion in loans, corresponding to more than 5% of its foreign debt, without having received any profit from the projects.
According to Breitbart, former leader Khan also supported China’s genocide against Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, a region bordering Pakistan, occupied mostly by Uighurs and called East Turkestan, Breitbart reported.
“Because of our extreme proximity and relationship with China, we actually accept the Chinese version,” Khan said of the Uighur genocide in July, according to Breitbart.
“There are much worse human rights violations taking place in other parts of the world such as in occupied Kashmir. But Western media hardly comments on this,” he added.
While the former Pakistani leader built a close relationship with the CCP, his successor Sharif comes from a family that has shown great interest in the BRI, as much as Khan.
On Sunday, the Global Times, the propaganda arm of the Chinese regime, before Sharif officially took office as prime minister, said of him:
“The potential successor of Khan is from the Sharif family which has been promoting China-Pakistan ties for a long time, and cooperation between the two countries could be even better than under Khan.”
The Chinese media also suggested, in another article, that the United States was to blame for Khan’s ousting, repeating the accusation it had made earlier that the U.S. had planned to remove him from power.
He further wrote that the U.S. would not benefit from Pakistan appointing a new prime minister and that nothing would change the relationship between the two countries.