China has once again declined to quantify the financial assistance it is willing to provide to Pakistan.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan visited China from November 2 to 5 during which he held talks with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang for China’s help to tide over the serious economic crisis faced by cash-strapped Pakistan which included balance of payments.
China termed his talks with top Chinese leaders “very successful”.
During Mr Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia last month, the Gulf Kingdom agreed to provide Pakistan $3 billion in balance of payment support and additionally give oil worth $3 billion on deferred payment.
Earlier reports from Pakistan said Beijing has committed a similar amount during Mr Khan’s visit but Chinese officials declined to confirm it.
Pakistan’s Finance Minister Asad Umar who accompanied Mr Khan said on Tuesday that China had promised at the highest level to help through an assistance package to tide over the crisis but did not reveal the amount.
A team of Pakistani officials is expected to reach Beijing on November 9 to finalise the details.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Beijing would provide assistant to the best of its capacity. “Pakistan is China’s all weather partner. We enjoy very good relationship that has been operating at a very high level,” she said.
“We have been offering our assistance to Pakistan within the best of our capacity. In the future, in the light of Pakistan’s need and as per our mutual agreement, we will continue to offer help economically and for betterment of people’s livelihoods,” she said.
Pakistan recently also approached the International Monetary Fund for a bailout package and wants to minimise its loans with the international lender apprehending stringent financial conditions which included scrutiny of the confidential details of the CPEC.
During Mr Khan’s visit to China, Pakistan media reported that Beijing had agreed to provide $6 billion in aid to the cash-strapped country which included a loan of $1.5 billion along with an additional package of $3 billion for the CPEC.
This being his first trip after he took over as Prime Minister, his talks with President Xi and Premier Li helped to establish good working relationship, Ms Chunying said.
“We believe our ties withstood the test of times in domestic and international changes,” she said.
Besides agreeing to strengthen the all-weather strategic partnership, both the countries have also agreed to expand the CPEC projects and establish strategic dialogue mechanism between their foreign ministers, she said.