China says more talks needed on economic aid for Pakistan

Published: November 3, 2018
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Both countries sign 15 agreements and MoUs in diverse fields. PHOTO: REUTERS

Both countries sign 15 agreements and MoUs in diverse fields. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING: China will provide Pakistan with economic aid but more talks will take place to fix the details, a senior Chinese diplomat said, after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday.

Pakistan’s foreign reserves have plunged 42 per cent since the start of the year and now stand at about $8 billion, or less than two months of import cover.

Last month, the country 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.

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

Speaking to reporters in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People following PM Imran’s talks with Li, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou said his country would help.

“During the visit, the two sides have made it clear in principle that the Chinese government will provide necessary support and assistance to Pakistan in tiding over the current economic difficulties,” Kong said.

“As for specific measures to be taken, the relevant authorities of the two sides will have detailed discussions,” he added, without giving details.

The premier told Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday that he had inherited “a very difficult economic situation” in Pakistan.

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Pakistan has looked to amend CPEC to put greater emphasis on projects that focus on social development, rather than purely on infrastructure.

Kong said there would be no change in the number of projects under CPEC.

“There is no change at all. If there were, it would only be to increase, not decrease” the number of projects, he added.

However the scope of the project would increase and will tilt in favour of people’s livelihoods, Kong said, also without elaborating.

PHOTO: TWITTER/ @PakPMO

PHOTO: TWITTER/ @PakPMO

After visiting Beijing, PM Imran is also set to be a key note speaker at a major import fair in Shanghai, an event that China hopes will show the world the country welcomes foreign companies and their products.

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Pak-China agreements

Pakistan and China on Saturday also signed 15 agreements and MoUs extending cooperation in diverse fields such as agriculture, industrial and technical training, Radio Pakistan reported.

An agreement regarding strategic level talks between the foreign ministers of the two countries was also reached.

The two sides also signed agreements regarding poverty alleviation in Pakistan and strengthening of cooperation in the fields of agriculture, industrial sectors and technical training were also signed by the two sides.

A MoU for cooperation in forestry, earth sciences and transfer of electronics was also signed during the visit.

An agreement was also reached between Higher Education of Pakistan and Science Academy of China whilst another was signed between the Chinese Academy of Science and Pakistan Metrological Department.

The signing ceremony of the agreements was witnessed by PM Imran and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang.

With additional input from Radio Pak.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Khan
    Nov 3, 2018 - 1:17PM

    Just shows how ‘honest’ our sweeter than honey friend is!! First drown a country with terrible debt and then make them beg for aid!! They have done this with every country they have ‘invested’ in!Recommend

  • Engr.Amir Sultan Rana
    Nov 3, 2018 - 4:09PM

    Its a positive note that around 15 agreements between Pakistan and China has been signed. From now onwards, true implementation of the agreements shall be done too. Pakistan should have win-win situation with China in all of their agreements. Pakistan is in very good position and it will prevail for times to come.

    Pakistan should use their potential to show to the world their capacity and will for making successful institutions and growth.

    Best of luck Pakistan. Recommend

  • Just Saying
    Nov 3, 2018 - 8:13PM

    Saudi Arabia promised $ 3 Billion, but no deposits to date.Recommend

  • Ts
    Nov 3, 2018 - 8:52PM

    China should release cpec funds asapRecommend

  • powayman
    Nov 3, 2018 - 9:19PM

    Maybe we should see full disclosure of CPEC before we make any further deals with China? Recommend

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