BEIJING: The Chinese foreign ministry on Friday said a majority of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) members recognised Pakistan’s efforts in improving its counter-terrorism financing (CTF) regime and will continue offering assistance in this regard.
Addressing the regular press conference, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, when asked whether there was a major shift in China’s position since it has been a staunch supporter for Pakistan, remarked that China’s position on the relevant issue remains unchanged.
“Pakistan has made enormous efforts in improving its counter-terror financing system, which has been recognised by the vast majority of FATF members at its latest plenary meeting concluded on February 20 in Paris. It was decided at the meeting that Pakistan will be allowed more time to continue implementing its action plan,” said the spokesman.
“China maintains that the purpose and aim of the FATF is to support countries’ efforts to strengthen institutions against money laundering and terror financing and safeguard the international financing system.”
The spokesperson said that China stands ready to work with relevant parties to offer more assistance to Pakistan in this area.
A plenary session of the FATF has concluded in Paris noting Pakistan’s compliance on fourteen points of the action plan and given more time until October 2020 to fully comply with the remaining points. Pakistan will remain on the ‘grey list’ till further compliance.
The decision might come as a huge disappointment for India which has been lobbying to get Pakistan blacklisted by FATF. Indian media had even reported on February 20 that China has agreed to join India and other countries in sending a strong message to Pakistan.
The reports were rejected by the Chinese Foreign Office stating it continued to support Pakistan. Last year, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that India wanted to bankrupt Pakistan and push it into the FATF blacklist.