China to help Pakistan avert fiscal crisis, 'more talks needed'

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On the day Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan wrapped up his official engagements in Beijing, China said it supported the country's efforts to improve ties with India.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday termed the multibillion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a "blessing" for Pakistan and an opportunity to attract foreign investment in the cash-starved country.

This prompted New Delhi to voice protest to Beijing and Islamabad, as India qualifies the move as a violation of its territorial integrity since buses will run through the Jammu and Kashmir region, disputed between India and Pakistan. The friendship between the two countries has stood the test of time and has always enjoyed strong vitality.

State Councillor Wang Yi said: "The Chinese side will continue to provide support and help to the best of its ability for Pakistan's economic and social development and national construction".

Pakistan and China acknowledged the need to conclude the second phase of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement as early as possible and further enhance defense cooperation, maintain high-level visits and exchanges between relevant departments of the two countries' armed forces, while making full use of the China-Pakistan Defense and Security Consultation mechanism to deepen cooperation in military exercises and technology.

The statement added that building a closer China-Pakistan community in the new era was the pillar of the continued relationship between the "iron brothers".

Both the countries will gradually bring the industrial cooperation for the CPEC, extend it to other parts of Pakistan and make it appropriate for people's lives, Kong said.

Pakistan is already highly dependent on China as the bulk of the foreign loans inherited by Mr Khan's government are with Chinese lenders.

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They also agreed to task the CPEC's Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) with formulating ideas to explore new areas of cooperation.

He said his government was keen to learn from China's experience in poverty alleviation and anti-corruption.

Khan said the way leadership of President Xi had tackled corruption was appreciable and said, "No other nation has held so many powerful people accountable for corruption in the last five years". "One of the things of course is my party has come into power", Khan said. "It is easy to catch low-level criminals but it is much more challenging to expose white-collar crime which actually devastates a country", he added.

In a joint statement released as Khan flew to Shanghai, China supported "Pakistan's efforts for improvement of Pakistan-India relations and for settlement of outstanding disputes between the two countries".

The CPEC involves a host of projects connects China's Xinjiang province with Pakistan's Gwadar port in Balochistan province.

China has repeatedly said that the Indian-Pakistani territorial dispute had to be settled through dialogue between the two sides.

On the occasion, the two sides expressed satisfaction over the multi faceted bilateral relations.

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