Friday, 16 November, 2018


Chinese, Pakistan leaders prepare to meet amid debt concerns

Rising Kashmir India logdes protest against Pakistan, China over bus services which passes through Pak-Occupied Kashmir
Conrad Doyle | 03 November, 2018, 08:27

During meeting, according to sources, the prime minister took the Chinese leader into confidence over third country investment in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Xi said the bilateral ties always stay vigorous and continue developing regardless of the changes in worldwide situations or the two countries' domestic affairs.

"Countries go in cycles". Khan will meet with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday and will attend a massive import expo hosted by Xi in Shanghai next week. "We made it clear many times", he said.

China on Friday reportedly agreed to provide Dollars 6 billion in aid to Pakistan, which is going through a "low point", to minimise the cash-strapped country's dependence on an International Monetary Fund bailout package as Prime Minister Imran Khan held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Talking about the economic challenges including the current account deficit and declining foreign exchange reserves, the Prime Minister said, his government was following a two-pronged strategy including approaching friendly countries for financial assistance and putting the option of IMF at the end to avoid the tough conditions of the Fund.

Responding to the development, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Ravesh Kumar said it has been India's consistent position that the so-called China-Pakistan "Boundary Agreement" of 1963 is illegal and Government of India does not recognise it.

"China has always placed Pakistan as a diplomatic priority for China, supported Pakistan's safeguarding of national independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, and supported the new Pakistani government's smooth running of the government and advancement of national construction", the Chinese President said.

"Pakistan wants to learn from China's experience in poverty alleviation and curbing corruption", he added.

An IMF delegation is due to visit China next week and the Khan government wants to minimise the bailout package it seeks from the worldwide lender.

It is also seeking fresh loans from Saudi Arabia and China, discussion of which is expected to dominate Khan's visit.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Minister for Planning Makhdoom Khusro Bukhtiar, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan and Pakistan Ambassador to China Masood Khalid were also present during the meeting. The two sides will also sign several agreements and MoUs of Cooperation in diverse fields.

"Khan's trip is important for reasons beyond the immediate financing needs", Uzair Younus, a South Asia director at Washington-based consultancy Albright Stonebridge Group LLC, said by email.

Mr Khan's trip to China comes amid unrest at home over the acquittal of a Pakistani Christian woman on death row for blasphemy.

The India-occupied Jammu & Kashmir remains the most militarized zone in the world, where the occupation forces are killing and maiming people on a daily basis.

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