January 16, 2019

Pakistani PM Visits China as Fiscal Crisis Looms

03 November 2018, 01:03 | Austin Hogan

India logdes protest against Pakistan, China over bus services which passes through Pak-Occupied Kashmir

Rising Kashmir

Khan's PTI party, an acronym for its name in the Urdu language, has said the project is too heavy on infrastructure, has too many projects in India's Punjab state and too much corruption.

Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Friday that Pakistan is likely to get a huge economic assistance package from China.

But while neither leader mentioned economic aid in front of reporters, China's top diplomat guaranteed support from Beijing in a separate meeting with his Pakistani counterpart.

Last month, Pakistan received a $6 billion rescue package from Saudi Arabia, but officials say it is not enough and the country still plans to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to avert a balance of payments crisis.

Earlier during his visit to Saudi Arabia, Riyadh committed Dollars 6 billion funding which included USD 3 billion deferred payment for oil imports.

Xi appreciated Khan for repeatedly stressing that he would view the relations with China as a political cornerstone in Pakistan's foreign policy and would unswervingly promote the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He said the goodwill among the peoples of Pakistan and China provided a firm basis for the Pakistan-China all-weather strategic cooperative partnership for a shared future.

He said Pakistan faced a deficit of United States dollars 27 billion which included USD 9 billion debt repayment this year.

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

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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.

The premier is accompanied by Bakhtiar, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Industry and Investment Abdul Razzak Dawood, and Chief Minister of Balochistan Jam Mir Kamal on his trip to China.

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.

"China wants to avoid such transparency because exposing the terms of the CPEC project agreements could validate the USA criticism of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as a debt trap for emerging economies", the Post report said.

The Pakistan prime minister's office said later that Xi had accepted an invitation to visit to the country.

"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.

After meetings on Friday and Saturday in Beijing, Khan flies to Shanghai where he will attend the first China International Import Expo, where he will be a keynote speaker. So, Islamabad's only link to Beijing is through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

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