PM Khan: Pakistan Wants to 'Learn' from China's 'Phenomenal Achievements'

Rising Kashmir

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 has rejected purported protest by India and statement by the neighbouring country regarding bus service through China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The last time was in 2013, when Islamabad got a US$6.6 billion loan to tackle a similar crisis.

Neither man mentioned any economic aid in comments made in front of reporters.

In his meeting with Xi, Khan, the cricketer-turned-politician, said: "my party (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf) has only been in power for two months".

"We have very special relations with China".

"Countries go in cycles".

"Unfortunately our country is going through a low point at the moment with two very big deficits, a fiscal deficit and a current account deficit", he said.

"Unfortunately we have inherited a very hard economic situation", Khan said.

This prompted New Delhi to voice protest to Beijing and Islamabad, as India qualifies the move as a violation of its territorial integrity since buses will run through the Jammu and Kashmir region, disputed between India and Pakistan.

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

However, in a separate meeting, China's foreign minister Wang Yi told his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi that China would help in Pakistan's economic development.

The prime minister on the occasion also reiterated his vision to further cement Pak-China economic and strategic cooperation.

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

Finance Minister Asad Umar said this week a bailout was the only option and the government was seeking funds from various sources, including China, to avoid dependence on one country or institution.

Pakistan's foreign reserves have plunged 42 percent since the start of the year and now stand at about $7.8 billion, or less than two months of import cover. Pakistan has already approached the IMF but is concerned about the stringent conditions the worldwide lender may impose specially to scrutinise the CPEC projects.

International Monetary Fund has provided 12 rescue packages since the late 1980s, Reuters noted. Pakistan has been among the most enthusiastic supporters of the trillion-dollar Belt and Road initiative, which seeks to re-establish China's former role as the Asian centre of global trade by binding it to Europe, African, Southeast Asia and elsewhere through Chinese-financed projects.

Khan will meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday (today), when the two countries are expected to sign a series of agreements.

He had said, "So-called China-Pakistan "Boundary Agreement" of 1963 is illegal and invalid, and has never been recognised by the Government of India".

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