China says it is willing to help Pakistan over fiscal crisis

China says it is willing to help Pakistan over fiscal crisis

China says it is willing to help Pakistan over fiscal crisis

"...in response to the current economic and fiscal difficulties Pakistan faces at the moment, China will provide help and assistance within the realm of its capability", Kong said.

"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 program in its vast Belt and Road Initiative", Reuters pointed out.

Khan met Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday following which Pakistan media reports said Beijing has agreed to provide $6 billion in aid to the cash-strapped country which included a loan of $1.5 billion along with an additional package of $3 billion for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The CPEC is a $46 billion-worth infrastructure project funded by China that aims at increasing the region's integrity by connecting the Pakistani port city of Gwadar and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region via transportation routes.

Pakistan and China have signed 15 agreements and memorandum of understandings (MoUs) for cooperation in diverse fields.

His government has also entered talks with the International Monetary Fund over a potential bailout as it grapples with a balance of payment crisis and current account deficit.

Pakistan has already approached the IMF but is concerned about the stringent conditions the worldwide lender may impose specially to scrutinise the CPEC projects.

Khan was given a ceremonial welcome at the Great Hall of people before he held talks with Li.

"As for specific measures to be taken, the relevant authorities of the two sides will have detailed discussions", he added, without giving details. "China is the one country from which we can learn", he said.

Xi told Prime Minister Imran Khan that he highly valued the two country's relations, reaffirming that they were "all-weather" friends.

"The Pakistan side reiterated that Pakistan's relation with China is a cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy".

China Thursday sought to defend the proposed bus service with Pakistan through PaK, saying its cooperation with Islamabad has nothing to do with the territorial dispute and will not change its principled stance on the Kashmir issue.

Thanking Li, Khan said: "the relationship between the two countries has deepened since then because the CPEC in 2013 was just an idea".

"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.

Mr Khan's trip to China comes amid unrest at home over the acquittal of a Pakistani Christian woman on death row for blasphemy. "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 areas of CPEC and the contents of CPEC will be enriched".

"There has been no change in the number of the CPEC projects".

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