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Belt and Road

Pakistan request opens door for Belt and Road project debt relief

COVID-19 economic hit gives China little choice but to help cash-strapped allies

Pakistan has plans to create a smart city in Gwadar Port, a major part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.   © Reuters

KARACHI -- Pakistan's plea last month to China for Belt and Road Initiative debt relief has opened the floodgates for other participating countries to make similar appeals as the impact of the coronavirus slams friendly economies with traditionally close ties to Beijing.

Islamabad sought the extension of a debt repayment period on $30 billion in loans for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, the flagship project in the massive BRI infrastructure-building program. China agreeing could save Pakistan around $500 million in annual cash flow.

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