Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday arrived in Beijing on his first official visit to China at the invitation of Chinese leadership.
The PM Khan’s four-day visit is aimed at reviewing the entire range of bilateral relations and to participate in the First China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Dawn reported, quoting Radio Pakistan.
During the visit, PM Khan will hold meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. Both sides are also expected to sign several agreements and MoUs of cooperation in diverse fields.
On Thursday, Minister for Planning Makhdoom Khusro Bukhtiar said that Pakistan would not seek rescheduling of about $2.7 billion in Chinese loans due for repayment this year but expected a good economic package, including expansion of the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to another level.
PM separately told the Chinese journalists that he hoped the scale of Chinese partnership would help Pakistan bridge its current account deficit and build foreign exchange reserves. He said his government had been working on two paths, including an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme and support from friendly countries.
He noted the assistance agreed to by Saudi Arabia, and said that China’s support would allow Pakistan to avoid a large IMF loan that may attract tough conditionalities which ultimately lead to inflation, squeeze the economy and put additional burden on the people.
The premier is accompanied by Bakhtiar, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Industry and Investment Abdul Razzak Dawood, and Chief Minister of Balochistan Jam Mir Kamal on his trip to China.
PM Khan was received at Beijing Airport by China’s Minister for Transport Li Xiaopeng, Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, and other senior government officials.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Masood Khalid was also present.
The premier is expected to visit Shanghai to participate in the First China International Import Expo in Shanghai, where Pakistan is exhibiting a wide range of export products.
He will be a keynote speaker at the inauguration of the Expo, and will hold meetings with other world leaders on the sidelines of the event.