ISLAMABAD: In an apparent mockery of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong said on Saturday that China had so far provided more than $90 million in aid to Pakistan after devastating floods caused by heavy monsoon rains.
In a video address posted on Twitter, the Chinese ambassador reaffirmed his government’s continued support for Islamabad to help those affected by the floods.
“Instead of pointing fingers at China-Pakistan cooperation, some countries had better do real and beneficial things for the people of Pakistan,” Ambassador Nong Rong said, without naming the United States.
It is worth mentioning that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently asked Pakistan to seek debt relief and restructuring from China, its main creditor after the country suffered widespread devastation caused by floods.
“China is Pakistan’s most reliable iron brother. Since the devastating floods occurred in Pakistan, among all countries, China has announced the largest amount of aid to Pakistan,” Nong Rong said.
The envoy said the total amount of aid had exceeded 644 million RMB (about 90 million U.S. dollars), adding that the aid came from the Chinese government, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Chinese military , the Chinese Red Cross and sister provinces and cities, Chinese companies and individuals.
Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, while responding to the US Secretary of State’s appeal for debt relief, said the Chinese government had provided humanitarian aid of worth 400 million RMB and that Chinese civil society had also lent a hand.
The spokesperson noted that China and Pakistan have had fruitful economic and financial cooperation and the people of Pakistan know it best.
“Instead of unjustifiably criticizing Beijing-Islamabad cooperation, the United States might as well do something real and beneficial for the people of Pakistan,” he said.
A day earlier, Washington canceled an agreement to suspend service payments on $132 million of Islamabad’s debt, the US embassy said, as the country faces an economic crisis exacerbated by devastating floods.
Pakistan’s economy is facing a balance of payments crisis, a growing current account deficit, its currency falling to historic lows and inflation exceeding 27%.
Meanwhile, devastating floods engulfed large swaths of the country in late August, killing more than 1,500 people and causing damage estimated at $30 billion, stoking fears that Pakistan could not honor its debts.