Daily Trends Now
Daily Trends Now

China promises to help ailing Pakistan

China promises to help ailing Pakistan

Beijing appeared trying to enhance its image in Pakistan even at the cost of affecting the "Wuhan spirit" of mutual friendship with India that emerged during the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese president Xi Jinping last April.

Li, who held a ceremonial welcome for Khan, said "we have a high-level of political trust and close cooperation in all fields".

"The Chinese side reiterated that China's relationship with Pakistan is always a matter of highest priority in its foreign policy". Now it is on the ground.

Pakistan is already highly dependent on China as the bulk of the foreign loans inherited by Mr Khan's government are with Chinese lenders.

"We feel that this a great opportunity for our country to progress, to attract investment. Unfortunately we have inherited a very hard economic situation", Khan said. "You will see the difference because a lot has happened since 2013".

The statement, issued at the end of the Beijing leg of Pakstain Prime Minister Imran Khan, also veered closer to Pakistan's position on counter-terrorism and NSG, whose subtext was apparent - a United Nations designation of Masood Azhar, head of the Pakistan based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) as an global terrorist, and India's membership in an expanded Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

They said that under the leadership of the Prime Minster Imran Khan, Pakistan would enter into new era of development.

China has pledged more than $60 billion to Pakistan in the form of loans and investments for roads, ports, power plants and industrial parks.

The shift in tone on the CPEC projects may indicate that they are a precondition of further Chinese economic aid.

"As for the specific measures to be taken, the competent authorities will have detailed discussion", he said, hinting that more talks will follow.

Experts say that the Chinese have pushed Pakistan into heavy debt through the CPEC, a charge denied by Beijing.

Pakistan is now battling serious economic crisis including balance of payments.

The statement said the two countries had chose to "make full use of the China-Pakistan Defence and Security Consultation mechanism, deepen cooperation in areas such as military exercises, training cooperation, personnel exchanges, and equipment and technology cooperation". The president said the revision of CPEC projects was an ongoing process, which makes necessary adjustments in projects undertaken jointly by Pakistan and China.

Asked about the cooperation on counter-terrorism, Kong said: "all areas of cooperation have been covered and we also expressed positive wish for strengthening cooperation".

"We want to take benefit from China's experiences and aim to strengthen our institutions to subsequently control corruption", he said. "The dimension of the industrial cooperation will be introduced into the CPEC going forward".

And despite Pakistan's looming balance of payments crisis, Kong said there were no plans to scale back the economic corridor, known as CPEC, although he did say it would be altered somewhat to "tilt in favor of areas relating to people's lives".

The two sides slammed "the growing negative propaganda against CPEC" and "expressed determination to safeguard the CPEC projects from all threats". "Against such a backdrop, the CPEC also has new opportunities and need to be further pushed forward", said the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister.


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