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Pakistan PM to visit China to reinforce strategic ties, likely to seek more loans

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Islamabad | January 29, 2022 12:50:58 PM IST
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is set to visit China next month to reinforce their strategic ties and to advance economic and trade relations between the two countries.

This China visit, which is taking place after nearly two years, will provide an opportunity for both sides to have a look at the state of bilateral cooperation and discuss more projects.

"The visit will reinforce the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between our two countries, and further advance the objective of building a closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era," said Pakistan Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar at a media briefing.

Imran Khan will visit China from February 3 to February 5 during which he will attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics and meet Chinese leaders.

Aside from these engagements, media reports are saying that Imran Khan is expected to be used to seek a USD 10 billion loan from China, request for payments for trade and revival of Pak-China Investment Company Ltd.

The Pak PM would try to leverage his trip to seek funding for improvement in social sectors and industrial development to show his achievements back home, before the upcoming elections in the country.

Imran Khan's visit comes at a time when the Pakistan economy is currently facing a severe financial crisis. Pakistani people are losing faith in the ruling PTI government due to inflation, depreciation of its currency and dwindling foreign exchange reserves.

Moreover, the PTI is also facing a credibility crisis as Chinese assistance in CPEC is not bringing the economic and social transformation in the country as it was projected.

Amid these immense challenges, experts believe that even if China gives an assurance of USD 10 billion of additional loans, it would only add to Pakistan's debt stock and service obligations. (ANI)

 
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