The annual bilateral summit of China Pakistan Economic corridor (CPEC) has been indefinitely delayed due to serious disagreements between China and Pakistan. The disagreement is reportedly over the Main Line (ML 1) railway line and special economic zones under the Belt and Road Initiative.
The 10th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting was first scheduled for early 2020 but earlier got delayed due to COVID 19 pandemic and now due to the disagreement, the meeting has been yet again postponed. The last JCC meeting was held in November 2019.
According to Nikkie Asia reports ML 1 is the largest CPEC project worth $6.8 billion and China is expected to loan $6 billion of this to Pakistan at a 3% concessional rate of interest. Tension has emerged since China is reluctant to loan the amount and is demanding guarantees amidst fear of delay in returns.
In addition, Pakistan has already sought debt relief and according to G-20 lending conditions it cannot seek large amounts of commercial loans, excluding the ones granted by the IMF. The JCC delay is now complicating matters for Pakistan and the CPEC is gradually derailing according to analysts.