PM Imran meets Chinese President Xi in Beijing


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.

Pakistan is expected to receive $6 billion economic package from China during the visit, Geo TV quoted sources as saying.

Xi assured Khan that China considers its relations with Pakistan a diplomatic priority.

The visit comes as the Pakistani government struggles with a financial crisis and as it looks to foreign countries for aid, while negotiating a bailout with the International Monetary Fund.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan begins a four-day visit to China on Friday to shore up support for a financial bailout that the South Asian nation desperately needs.

Earlier Chinese state councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi, told Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a separate meeting that China would not let Pakistan down.

In a meeting with Chinese IDCPC Minister Song Tao in Beijing, he said such exchanges would ensure that the exceptional friendship between Pakistan and China endured from generation to generation.

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

In his meeting with Xi, Khan, the cricketer-turned-politician, said: "my party (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf) has only been in power for two months".

More news: Freed Asia Bibi plans to leave Pakistan soon
More news: USA weeks away from responding to Khashoggi murder: Pompeo
More news: Roger Federer Gets Walk-Over : Paris Masters

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

Pakistan's government has "inherited a very hard economic situation", Khan told Xi. Imran is scheduled to hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang and both the countries are expected to sign several agreements.

The minister said: "Cooperation in agriculture and security realm will be part of our discussion with the Chinese leadership".

Bus service between the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China's west and the city of Lahore of Pakistan's Punjab province is set to be launched on November 3.

While Commerce Minister Dawood told the Financial Times that some of the CPEC agreements were unfair to Pakistani companies and should be put on hold for a year, Railways Minister Rasheed said that Pakistan wants to cut the size of the Dollars 8 billion Karachi-Peshawar rail line, the biggest project of the CPEC, by USD 2 billion.

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

The Prime Minister said Pakistan could learn from China to raise its agricultural yields and help its farmers and remove rural poverty.

Mr. Lu stressed that the CPEC was an "economic project", and did not reflect China's position on Kashmir.