Chinese people and organizations in Pakistan have received a rare warning on Friday from the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad to stay prepared for a potential series of terrorist attacks.
Beijing is investing heavily in Pakistan as part of the One Belt One Road Initiative, but militant groups have long roamed the nation. The protection of Chinese companies and entrepreneurs in Pakistan is a source of concern for Chinese officials.
“It is understood that terrorists plan in the near term to launch a series of attacks against Chinese organizations and personnel in Pakistan,” the Chinese embassy said in a statement.
The diplomatic mission urged all “Chinese-invested organizations and Chinese citizens to increase security awareness, strengthen internal precautions, reduce trips outside as much as possible, and avoid crowded public spaces.”
Chinese nationals were also urged to collaborate with the Pakistani military and police and notify the embassy of any emergencies. No details regarding the motivation for the statement were provided.
Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s Balochistan province, is a centerpiece for China’s $46 billion infrastructure investment in Pakistan as part of One Belt One Road. Specifically, the Chinese-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) promises to link China’s western provinces with the Gwadar port on Pakistan’s southern coast. Beijing is reportedly worried about projects along the CPEC, including gas lines, railways and roads, becoming the target of extremist attacks despite the more than 15,000 troops Pakistani troops tasked with ensuring security in the region.
A Chinese businessman living in Islamabad told the South China Morning Post Friday that the embassy rarely issues warnings, “so I feel like this is something serious.”