Thursday, 15 November, 2018

China Says More Talks Needed For Pakistan's Economic Bailout

China Pakistan bus service,PoK,Pakistan-occupied Kashmir Rising Kashmir
Elsie Buchanan | 04 November, 2018, 09:44

Close ally China says it is willing to offer assistance to Pakistan to help it weather its current fiscal crisis but that terms of such aid are still being discussed.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Chinese counterpart Premier Li Keqiang, according to official reports.

India has also been protesting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project - a key project under Chinese President Xi Jinping's pet Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) - as it runs through the PoK.

China has pledged more than $60 billion to Pakistan in the form of loans and investments for roads, ports, power plants and industrial parks. "As to the specific measures to be taken, the competent authorities of the two countries would have detailed discussions", Kong said.

China and Pakistan refer to themselves as "all-weather friends", united in their shared rivalry with mutual neighbor India.

Pakistan sees China as a great opportunity to progress, attract investment, he said. "It gives us an opportunity to raise our standard of living, growth rate".

The project is at the heart of Chinese President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative, an ambitious, globe-spanning trade and infrastructure programme.

Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday encouraged Chinese business leaders to explore investment opportunities in the diverse socio-economic sectors of Pakistan, which offered enormous market potential due to its geo-strategic advantage.

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The government is also seeking an emergency bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to avert a balance of payments crisis.

It would be Pakistan's 13th rescue package from the multilateral lender since the late 1980s.

The CPEC has also become a major irritant in India-China relations with New Delhi voicing its opposition to the infrastructure project as it traverses through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Despite the questions raised, China has remained confident in the correctness of its approach to co-operation with Pakistan, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang on Wednesday saying the economic corridor was a "mutually beneficial project between the two countries which plays an important role in improving people's livelihood and promoting economic development". "There has been no change in the number of CPEC projects". They said that the relationship has withstood the test of time, notwithstanding changes in domestic, regional and global situations.

Kong said the project will also focus on the social sector.

"The two sides will firmly move forward the CPEC while ensuring the smooth operation of completing projects and advancing the ongoing projects".

"The two sides will gradually brand dimensions of industrial cooperation to the CPEC, and extend it to other parts of Pakistan so that it will drive all round development of China-Pakistan economic cooperation", he added.

Abdul Razzak Dawood, Minister for planning MakhdoomKhusroBakhtiar, Minister for Maritime Mr. Ali Zaidi and Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan were present during the meeting, Foreign Secretary Ms. TehminaJanjua, Ambassador Masood Khalid and other senior officials were present during the meeting.

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