Pakistan likely to get huge economic package from China: Fawad Chaudhry

A general view of the port before the inauguration of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor port in Gwadar Pakistan on Nov 13 2016

India has lodged a protest with Pakistan and China over a bus service set to be launched today between Lahore and Kashghar - a city in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China's far west - through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

President Xi told the Pakistani premier that he highly valued the two countries' relations, reaffirming they were "all-weather" friends.

"Khan has posited that Chinese and Saudi financial assistance will reduce the amount Pakistan needs to borrow from the International Monetary Fund, mitigating Pakistan's susceptibility to the United States demands that its CPEC debt be transparent".

The Prime Minister said as the main point of PTI's manifesto was to bring people out of poverty it was one area where he looked forward to meeting with Chinese leadership and learn from all the steps taken to take people out of poverty.

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

Meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing's Great Hall of the People, Khan said he'd come to China to learn. He also expressed support for Pakistan's new government in implementing its policies and promoting national development.

The country's foreign exchange reserves have fallen to a near five-year low of US$7.8 billion, the State Bank of Pakistan said on Thursday, while the net foreign reserves held by commercial banks have also dropped, to US$6.4 billion.

"I think that it's in China's best long-term interest to be able to show some flexibility and be able to cancel some projects that fail, frankly", Hillman said.

In the meeting, the two sides discussed strengthening of bilateral relations and matters of mutual regional and global interests, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

After meetings on Friday and Saturday in Beijing, Khan flies to Shanghai where he will attend the first China International Import Expo, where he will be a keynote speaker.

Khan is being accompanied on his visit by several senior government officials, including Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, commerce and trade adviser Abdul Razzak Dawood and Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed. "But on the issue of Kashmir, China's position is clear cut".

He said with Pakistan having oldest relationship with China, it was the only friendly country in the world on whom people in Pakistan felt they could always depend in the hour of need.

While that has yet to happen, the sides have begun reassessing some aspects of the Pakistan section of Belt and Road, known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, including scaling back the development of Pakistan's Arabian Sea port of Gwadar. The trip "is significant for President Xi Jinping, whose flagship BRI has had hiccups in recent months".

"In 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that it is only by respecting the autonomy of countries involved, there can be regional connectivity and avoid differences and disorientation".

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