China ‘shocked’ by suicide bomb attack in Pakistan
Residents carry the coffin of a suicide attack victim in the port city of Gwadar on August 20, 2021. At least two children were killed and a Chinese citizen was wounded in a suicide attack in southern Pakistan, the latest assault targeting Chinese citizens in the country, officials said. (Photo by STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images)
CHINA on Monday (23) said it is “shocked” by last week’s suicide bomb attack on a vehicle carrying its people in Pakistan, the second such incident in over a month. It asked Islamabad to “punish” the perpetrators and step up security for scores of its workers employed in CPEC projects.
On August 20, a motorcade of the Gwadar East Bay expressway project was attacked by a bomber when it was on its way to a construction site in the Balochistan province, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing in Beijing.
Gwadar is the culmination point of the $60 billion (£44b) China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). A large number of Chinese experts and workers are employed in Gwadar and the surrounding areas to complete various projects under the CPEC.
One Chinese national suffered minor injuries and several local personnel were injured or killed, Wang said in reply to a question.
According to a statement issued by Pakistan authorities, the suicide bomb attack was carried out by a young boy.
“We are shocked and condemn this incident, mourn the Pakistani personnel killed in the attack and convey sympathy to the bereaved families and the injured,” Wang said.
“We urge the Pakistan side to arrest the perpetrators and punish them as soon as possible,” he said, adding that Islamabad has assured to take every effort to ensure the safety of the Chinese personnel working in various projects in Pakistan.
According to a report published in the state-run Global Times on Saturday (21), the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), which is fighting for the self-determination of the Baloch people, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Chinese nationals also came under attack in Karachi last month when they were fired upon by gunmen from a moving vehicle. For Pakistan, ties with China are crucial due to its increasing economic dependence on Beijing.
China is involved in several projects aiming at the development of the Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea which is a part of China’s Belt and Road infrastructure project.