Three influential US Senators have urged the Trump Adminstration to oppose the proposed multi-billion bailout package sought by Pakistan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ,arguing it could be used to repay the Chinese debt.
In a letter to the Treasury Secretary, Mr. Steven Mnuchin, and the Secretary of State, Mr. Mike Pompeo, the lawmakers, Mr. Ted Yoho, Mr. Ami Bera and Mr. George Holding, expressed 'deep concern' over the likely use of IMF's bailout package to repay the massive Chinese debt that Pakistan has accumulated under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
'We write to express our deep concern over attempts by the Pakistan Government to seek a bailout deal with the IMF to retrieve debts incurred from predatory Chinese infrastructure projects,' the Congressmen said.
They said China is investing 62 billion dollars in Pakistan under CPEC. 'Its debt repayment and profit repatriation terms are not transparent and have understandably raised concerns even inside Pakistan,' they said. 'Illustrative of the dangers of China's debt-trap diplomacy, Sri Lanka became unable to make payments on the debt it had taken for the Hambantota Port development Project,' the letter said.
Under 'heavy pressure' from the China, Sri Lanka ultimately handed over 1,500 acres around the port for a 99-year lease, they said. 'The impact of Chinese predatory financing, as already seen in Hambantota port in Sri Lanka, cannot be ruled out,' the letter said.