Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

China-Pakistan Corridor Not Tied to India-Pakistan Territorial Dispute - Beijing

Rising Kashmir India logdes protest against Pakistan, China over bus services which passes through Pak-Occupied Kashmir
Russell Knight | 03 November, 2018, 01:02

Talking to media in Islamabad on Friday, he termed PM Imran's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping successful, adding that a Pakistan is likely to receive a huge financial package from Beijing.

Khan's PTI party, an acronym for its name in the Urdu language, has said the project is too heavy on infrastructure, has too many projects in India's Punjab state and too much corruption.

Pakistan is expected to receive Dollars 6 billion economic package from China during the visit, Pakistan's Geo TV reported.

Though China is Pakistan's closest ally, Imran's newly elected government has sought to re-think the two countries' signature project, the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which Beijing touts as the flagship infrastructure program in its vast Belt and Road Initiative.

While neither of the leaders made any specific references to economic aid during their talks, Khan is keen to negotiate a bailout from Beijing to tackle Pakistan's fiscal crisis.

Pakistan is now hoping to secure help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to avert the crisis in what would be the nation's 13th rescue package from the lender in 30 years.

Despite the questions raised, China has remained confident in the correctness of its approach to co-operation with Pakistan, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang on Wednesday saying the economic corridor was a "mutually beneficial project between the two countries which plays an important role in improving people's livelihood and promoting economic development".

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Xi said China always views relations with Pakistan as a priority of diplomacy and supports Pakistan in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. "And so we, as I've said, have come to learn".

$1.5 billion are expected to be deposited in the State Bank of Pakistan, while Pakistan Railways may also be included in the package. Khan had initially vowed to curb borrowing, but has proceeded with projects such as one to build 5 million public housing units and has predicted that Pakistan would soon overcome its economic woes.

Meanwhile, the bus service is an attempt to bolster trade ties and increase friendship between Pakistan and China, but the issue revolves around the bs route that passes through PoK, where the CPEC passes, as reported by The Indian Express.

Pak PM will also attend China's International Import Expo on November 5 in Shanghai during the visit.

The so-called "CPEC" involves a host of projects with an aim to connect China's Xinjiang province with Balochistan's Gwadar port.

Imran will meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday when the two countries are expected to sign a series of agreements.

Xi said the two sides should deepen strategic communication, maintain regular visits and meetings between the two countries' leaders and enhance experience-sharing in the governance of a country. Pakistan's only link to China is through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir's Gilgit-Baltistan region, which is part of Jammu and Kashmir.

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