Chinese Businessman Shot In Karachi, Chinese Projects In Danger
The murder of Chinese businessman Chen Zhu in Karachi’s up market area in close proximity to a fortified housing region belonging to the Navy, has led to China urging Pakistan to take strong measures to protect its nationals working on collaborative infrastructure projects. Chen Zhu, the 46 year old managing director of Cosco Shipping Lines based in Shanghai was driving to the local shopping area around Zamzama Park after his lunch when he was shot dead by a lone gunman who fired nine times at him.
The incident occurred when Chen relinquished the regular police escort around him on February 5, 2018, as it was a national holiday and as it occurred in one of Karachi’s most secure locations it is a reminder of terrorism that continues unabated in the port city. The attack has led to grave concerns within the growing Chinese community within Pakistan that have flocked to the region to tap rising opportunities led by investment of $50 billion by Chinese government to build its ambitious Belt and Road route for reviving the historic Silk Trade Route.
Former Chinese diplomat Wang Yiwei has stated that most of the nations on the proposed route like Pakistan are not politically stable hence Chinese enterprises have to make strong arrangements to protect their personnel and projects from harm. Security forces in Pakistan have recently recruited 15,000 personnel and trained them to protect personnel in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor or (CPEC) and have also curtailed movement of top ranking Chinese officers at the sites. Beijing has been expressing its displeasure about risks being faced by its countrymen working in different parts of Pakistan as its embassy also warned of terrorist attacks on Chinese workers. In view of growing alienation by the United States and cutbacks in aid, Pakistan is becoming dependent on China for foreign investment and trade.