Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit China next week and meet President Xi Jinping, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said on Thursday, on a trip seen as vital to Islamabad’s efforts to obtain fresh loans to support the economy.
Imran Khan, accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, will lead a delegation from November 2-5 which will sign several agreements on “diverse fields”, the foreign ministry said in a statement. Khan is also set to meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
This week Pakistan received a $6 billion rescue package from Saudi Arabia, but officials say it is not enough and the country still plans to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to avert a balance of payments crisis.
On Wednesday, Khan said Pakistan was also in discussions with two “friendly nations” for more loans, with analysts saying one of those countries was China.
Though China is now Pakistan’s closest ally, Khan’s newly elected government has sought to re-think the two countries’ signature project, the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which Beijing touts as the flagship infrastructure programme in its vast Belt and Road Initiative.