Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived here on Friday on a four-day visit to China which comes at a time when Islamabad has shown misgivings about Beijing’s connectivity project, the CPEC.
During his visit, Khan is likely to seek fresh loans for his country’s limping economy from China which is Islamabad’s biggest lender.
Khan will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. He will also attend China’s International Import Expo on Sunday in Shanghai.
The new government under Khan has expressed concerns over the Chinese debt under the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key project of Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative.
In fact, it slashed the budget for a railway project under the CPEC from $8.2 billion to $6.2 billion, citing Islamabad’s financial constraints.
Khan’s invitation to Saudi Arabia to join the Chinese-funded CPEC, which he retracted later, would have irked Beijing. Saudi Arabia is a US ally and enemy of Iran, largest exporter of oil to China.
Beijing has, however, rubbished reports of Pakistan being worried over the CPEC, saying that the two countries were “all-weather friends”.
Beijing might give fresh loans to Pakistan after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) asked Islamabad to divulge the financial details of the CPEC if it wanted fresh loans for a bailout.
Khan, who has already secured a $6 billion loan from the Saudis, has some friendly nations that are ready to help Pakistan.
Beijing would be averse to the US-dominated IMF to know about the financial details of the CPEC.