China Is Next on Khan's List as Pakistan Looks for Bailout Money

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Since taking power in August, Khan has sought loans from "friendly" countries like Saudi Arabia, which has agreed to provide Pakistan $6 billion in funding.

In response to the debt crisis, Pakistan is seeking an emergency bailout loan of $8 billion from the International Monetary Fund, which plans to send a team to Pakistan to assess the situation.

Pakistan's foreign reserves have plunged 42 percent since the start of the year and now stand at about $8 billion, or less than two months of import cover.

In Saturday's meeting, Khan told Li the planned economic corridor had "caught the imagination of the people of Pakistan".

Li, who held a ceremonial welcome for Khan, said "we have a high-level of political trust and close cooperation in all fields".

He defended the United States dollars 60 billion CPEC, saying that it is an economic cooperation project between China and Pakistan.

In the future, it will shift its focus to industrial cooperation and improvement of people's livelihood, boosting collaboration in agriculture, fisheries, and advanced technology industries, so as to make more contributions to Pakistan's economic development, employment, and poverty alleviation.

According to a joint statement issued here after Prime Minister Imran Khan's talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, China backed Pakistan's efforts to improve ties with India to settle "outstanding disputes", without directly mentioning the Kashmir issue. Pakistan has reasons to be disappointed unless China announced a financial package before Khan left for home on Monday.

Following Li's meeting with Khan, Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou said the two sides had "made it clear in principle that the Chinese government will provide necessary support and assistance to Pakistan in tiding over the current economic difficulties".

The minister gave no specific information about China's financial assistance, saying the details were being discussed.

They expressed their gratitude for the support Pakistan was extending to the Chinese companies in hydropower, renewable energy, construction, infrastructure development and other sectors, particularly under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.

The statement said the two countries had decided to "make full use of the China-Pakistan Defence and Security Consultation mechanism, deepen cooperation in areas such as military exercises, training cooperation, personnel exchanges, and equipment and technology cooperation".

"China, through CPEC, has given Pakistan an opportunity to attract [foreign] investments".

"You can't have a society with a small number of rich people and a sea of poor people", he said, adding that this inequality is stopping people from progressing. "If there is going to be any, it will be increased going forward".

He also said more projects relating to "industrial cooperation" will come up in more areas of Pakistan.

Asked about the cooperation on counter-terrorism, Kong said: "all areas of cooperation have been covered and we also expressed positive wish for strengthening cooperation".