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

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

Pakistan already has close financial ties with China, having benefited from massive investments in ports and coal plants under China's Belt & Road Initiative.

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

PM Imran will also meet the president of the Infrastructure Investment Bank Jin Liqun and Minister for International Department of the Central Committee Song Tao.

The federal minister spoke to media about the ongoing visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China, where he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"The Chinese side will continue to provide support and help to the best of its ability for Pakistan's economic and social development and national construction", China's foreign ministry cited Wang as saying.

He said Pakistan faced a deficit of $27 billion which included $9 billion debt repayment this year. "But I would like to say that the CPEC has nothing to do with the territorial dispute and will not influence China's stance on Kashmir", Lu told reporters at a press briefing.

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.

Khan's visit evoked considerable interest here as it comes in the wake of his past criticism of the Dollars 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects and remarks by his ministers to cut down some of the projects over debt concern.

Islamabad's worries were exacerbated when the United States insisted that any bailout funds provided by the International Monetary Fund must not be used to pay off Chinese lenders.

Khan is accompanied by foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, finance minister Umar, Advisor on Commerce and Trade Abdul Razzak Dawood, railways minister Sheikh Rasheed among others.

An IMF delegation is due to visit China next week and the Khan government wants to minimise the bailout package it seeks from the worldwide lender.

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. The trip "is significant for President Xi Jinping, whose flagship BRI has had hiccups in recent months".

China also agreed to address his concern that the CPEC projects were mainly benefitting the dominant Punjab region and the new projects will focus on the western region of Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

In an interview to the Chinese state-run media ahead of his visit, Khan said the CPEC has given Pakistan a great opportunity to bring in foreign investment and to get out of the hard economic situation it is facing.

Khan, who arrived in Beijing on Thursday evening for a five-day visit - his first to the city since his election victory in August - said before he left that he wanted to learn more from China, which is not only Pakistan's strategic partner but also its biggest foreign investor and aid donor.

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