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Belt and Road

China moves for more control over Belt and Road in Pakistan

Demand for joint parliamentary oversight indicates Beijing's frustration on projects

Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Beijing in April 2019. Experts say Beijing is increasingly unwilling to pour money into the Belt and Road projects in Pakistan without exercising greater control. (Source photos by Getty Images) 

KARACHI -- China is taking its Belt and Road infrastructure-building initiative into its own hands in Pakistan, proposing a joint parliamentary oversight committee to tighten control over the speed and quality of projects.

Li Zhanshu, the chairman of the National People's Congress of China, proposed the formation of the joint committee for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, in a virtual meeting held with Asad Qaiser, the speaker of Pakistan's National Assembly, toward the end of January. Both heads of parliament directed their secretaries to form the joint parliamentary oversight committee.

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