China says it is willing to help Pakistan over fiscal crisis

China Pakistan bus service,PoK,Pakistan-occupied Kashmir

China says it is willing to help Pakistan over fiscal crisis

China pledged to provide economic assistance to Pakistan following talks on Saturday between newly elected Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing.

China's expected assistance is the second Dollars 6 billion package which Khan has managed to obtain in the last few weeks as Pakistan reeled under severe financial crisis. Some of these loans have been granted under President Xi Jinping's ambitious "Belt and Road" connectivity project.

The massive undertaking has drawn both praise and criticism from around the world, with some saying the initiative is filling a critical funding gap in the developing world, while others fear the Chinese loans financing the work are created to entrap their recipients in debt.

Experts say that the Chinese have pushed Pakistan into heavy debt through the CPEC, a charge denied by Beijing.

China has not confirmed reports that it would provide $6 billion to Pakistan.

Khan will meet with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday and will attend a massive import expo hosted by Xi in Shanghai next week.

Thanking Li, Khan said: "the relationship between the two countries has deepened since then because the CPEC in 2013 was just an idea. Now it is on the ground and it has caught the imagination of the people of Pakistan", he said.

"We feel that this a great opportunity for our country to progress, to attract investment".

Once a CPEC critic during the previous Nawaz Sharif government, Khan said: the CPEC "gives us an opportunity to raise our standard of living, growth rate".

"China always regards Pakistan as a diplomatic priority", Li said.

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

Meanwhile, Khan's office said in a statement that the two governments had signed a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding in the fields of agriculture, poverty reduction, forestry, law enforcement and socio-economic development.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Minister for Planning Makhdoom Khusro Bukhtiar, Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood, Chief Minister of Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan and Pakistan's Ambassador to China Masood Khalid were also present during the meeting.

On arrival at the Great Hall of the People, the Chinese Premier accorded a warm welcome to Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Pakistan's foreign reserves have plunged 42 percent since the start of the year.

Pakistan has gone to the International Monetary Fund repeatedly since the late 1980s.

India Wednesday said it has lodged strong protests with China and Pakistan over the proposed bus service between the two countries through Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

"There is no change at all. The CPEC will be introduced to more areas of Pakistan and also tilt in favour of areas relating to people's livelihoods", he said, adding: "Hence going forward, both the areas of CPEC and the contents of CPEC will be enriched".

"I attach great importance to China-Pakistan relations and am willing to work together with the prime minister to strengthen the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership and build a new era of China-Pakistan destiny", the Chinese leader proclaimed.

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