Imran Khan hoping for a bailout from China, Pakistan’s ‘all-weather’ friend

Imran Khan hoping for a bailout from China, Pakistan’s ‘all-weather’ friend

Imran Khan hoping for a bailout from China, Pakistan’s ‘all-weather’ friend

Talking to media in Islamabad on Friday, he termed PM Imran's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping successful, adding that a Pakistan is likely to receive a huge financial package from Beijing.

The Prime Minister said CPEC was going in stages including roads, development of Gwadar, which was the second deepest port after Singapore, and some power projects that became part of CPEC.

Pakistan is expected to receive United States dollars 6 billion economic package from China during the visit, Geo TV quoted sources as saying.

Though China is Pakistan's closest ally, Khan's newly elected government has sought to re-think the two countries' signature project, the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which Beijing touts as the flagship infrastructure programme in its vast Belt and Road Initiative.

The visit comes as the Pakistani government struggles with a financial crisis and as it looks to foreign countries for aid, while negotiating a bailout with the International Monetary Fund.

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Despite having no border of direct link with Pakistan, China defended the over Dollars 50 billion so-called "China-Pakistan Economic Corridor", saying that it is an economic cooperation project between China and Pakistan.

As an opposition politician, the former cricket star had questioned whether the partnership with China benefited Pakistan and promised the contracts would be made public.

"As for the bus service, I have not heard of the relevant information and I have not heard of complaints", Lu Kang, China's foreign ministry spokesperson, said at the ministry's regular briefing, when asked about India's protest against the move.

Chinese Minister Song on the occasion said the prime minister's first official visit to China since assuming office was keeping with the time-honoured traditions of the special friendship between Pakistan and China.

The country's foreign exchange reserves have fallen to a near five-year low of US$7.8 billion, the State Bank of Pakistan said on Thursday, while the net foreign reserves held by commercial banks have also dropped, to US$6.4 billion.

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China's manufacturing growth slowed for the second straight month in October, dragged down by its trade dispute with the US. US West Texas Intermediate ( WTI ) crude futures fell 86 cents to settle at US$66.18 a barrel, a 1.3 per cent drop.

Xi assured Khan that China considers its relations with Pakistan a diplomatic priority.

According to reports from Pakistan, the new bus service will be launched between Lahore in Pakistan and Kashgar in China via PaK on November 3.

Khan is accompanied by foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, finance minister Umar, Advisor on Commerce and Trade Abdul Razzak Dawood, railways minister Sheikh Rasheed among others.

"Basically, aside from the contracts that have been agreed and the projects that are moving ahead on the ground, which is the $19 billion worth, everything else is up for grabs as far as they (China) are concerned", Small said.

In an interview to the Chinese state-run media ahead of his visit, Khan said the CPEC has given Pakistan a great opportunity to bring in foreign investment and to get out of the hard economic situation it is facing.

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Rescue teams said that at least 13 people died, while two remaining passengers are still unaccounted for following the accident. Deadly road accidents are common in China , where traffic regulations are often flouted or go unenforced.

Imran will meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday when the two countries are expected to sign a series of agreements. So, Islamabad's only link to Beijing is through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

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