Beijing, Nov 2: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Friday while on his first official visit to China, Pakistan media reported.
In the meeting between Khan and Xi, the premier told the Chinese president about Pakistan’s “very difficult” economic situation, Reuters reported.
Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry described the meeting as “very productive”, promised good news soon, and suggested that Pakistan would secure a major economic package from China.
“My party has only been in power for two months. Unfortunately we have inherited a very difficult economic situation,” Imran Khan was reported to have told the Chinese president.
“Countries go in cycles. They have their high points, they have their low points. Unfortunately, our country is going through a low point at the moment with two very big deficits, a fiscal deficit and a current account deficit. And so we, as I’ve said, have come to learn,” Reuters quoted Imran Khan as saying.
The premier described Xi as a role model owing to his vision and leadership. “Our country is very impressed the way China has progressed. China’s phenomenal achievements are worth emulating. No other country has tackled poverty and corruption the way China has tackled it,” he said.
“Pakistan wants to learn from China’s experience in poverty alleviation and curbing corruption,” he added.
President Xi Jinping, while welcoming the Pakistan prime minister, said that Pak-China relations have already been strengthening, and have now gained momentum.
“The relationship has not only benefited the two countries but also the region,” Xi said.
President Xi told Khan that he valued both countries’ relations, and reaffirmed their “all-weather” friendship.
“I attach great importance to China-Pakistan relations and am willing to work together with the prime minister to strengthen the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership and build a new era of China-Pakistan destiny,” Xi said.
Khan extended an invitation to President Xi Jinping to visit Pakistan.
Reportedly, China agreed to provide USD 6 billion in aid to Pakistan, which is going through a “low point”, to minimise the cash-strapped country’s dependence on an IMF bailout package.
Pakistan is expected to receive USD 6 billion economic package from China during the visit, Geo TV quoted sources as saying.
A loan of USD 1.5 billion is also expected to be offered, along with an additional package of USD three billion for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the report said.
The loan and the investments were reportedly part of the USD 6 billion package.
There is no official comment from Beijing yet on the report.