AIIB president meets PM Imran, announces to invest in CPEC projects

03 November, 2018, 01:03 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • Rising Kashmir

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

China's expected assistance is the second United States dollars 6 billion package which Khan has managed to obtain in the last few weeks as Pakistan reeled under severe financial crisis.

"We have inherited a very hard economic situation", he told President Xi Jinping when they met at the Great Hall of the People in the Chinese capital.

China is preparing to roll out the red carpet for Mr. Khan, who is set to arrive in Beijing on Friday, and would be formally welcomed at the Great Hall of the People on Saturday.

"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", Xi said. "Our country is very impressed the way China has progressed".

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.

During the meeting, PM Imran and AIIB president agreed to ensure transparency in the projects by accountability.

"In 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that it is only by respecting the autonomy of countries involved, there can be regional connectivity and avoid differences and disorientation".

Map showing the projects subsumed under One Belt, One Road program by China.

"The relationship has not only benefited the two countries but also the region", Xi said.

The Prime Minister, who left on a four-day official visit to China said that low crime was easy to check but tackling white collar crime needed speciality and expertise which Pakistan was struggling.

In recent weeks, Pakistan has reduced the size of a rail project, shaving $2 billion off the final price tag.

Mr. Lu stressed that the CPEC was an "economic project", and did not reflect China's position on Kashmir.

Its launch apparently is coinciding with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's maiden visit to China starting from Friday. "We made it clear many times", he said.

Online columnist Wei Jia warns that the debt crisis in Pakistan is similar to the sovereign debt crisis Greece experienced in late 2009.

"Even though situations in worldwide and domestic politics change, the bilateral relations will continue to improve", he said.

"Pakistan wants to learn from China's experience in poverty alleviation and curbing corruption", he added. "It is an economic cooperation project between China and Pakistan and not targeted at any third party".

During a trip to China today, Mr Khan acknowledged his country has hit a "low point".

Pakistan is expected to receive $6 billion economic package from China during the visit, Geo TV quoted sources as saying. Imran is scheduled to hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang and both the countries are expected to sign several agreements.



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