Chinese Consul General in Lahore Peng Zhengwu has said that the pace of work on the CPEC projects in Pakistan is normal. In an exclusive interview with SAMAA, Peng Zhengwu also said China was trying to attract Chinese small companies to work in the special economic zones (SEZs) being developed in Pakistan under the CPEC. Peng said there was nothing to worry about the pace of CPEC projects. The projects advanced “just like everything develops in different stages.” He said at the first stage Chinese state companies came to Pakistan to build roads and other infrastructure and now China was attracting small companies to work in the SEZs. “This seems slower than before but actually everything is progressing. No problem,” he said. Responding to the question of why the pace of work had slowed down on CPEC projects, the consul general said smaller companies could not match the efficiency of the state-owned companies that worked on CPEC earlier. He rejected the notion the state-owned Chinese companies were no longer interested in working on CPEC. Reacting to the bloc being formed against China by the US, India, Australia and Japan, the consul general said that China was not afraid of such blocs. He said a few countries, led by a superpower, were forming such alliances to defeat their rivals but China's foreign policy is independent. In response to a question about India’s role in the bloc, the consul general said some countries were losing the influence they once enjoyed, and they wanted to regain that influence. “That country may be the leader of this group. Other countries are only participants,” Peng said. Without naming the United States he said a superpower was leading the bloc. The consul general said China believed in free competition and fair play “that’s why we are not worried too much” about the Quad alliance of the US, Japan, India, and Australia.