The Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Lu Kang, in his regular press conference on October 31, 2018, has said that both China and Pakistan attach great importance to Imran Khan’s visit to China. Below is the Kang’s full answer to a question he was asked about Imran Khan’s visit to China today.
Q: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit China starting from November 2. Pakistani officials once said that the CPEC projects need to be reviewed because of the high costs of borrowing. Do you think that Prime Minister Imran Khan is likely to discuss the financing of the CPEC projects when he is here and will the two sides discuss additional funding from China or the IMF bailouts to Pakistan?
A: I have talked about Prime Minister Imran Khan’s upcoming official visit and his attendance at the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai. This is Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first official visit to China after he took office. Both China and Pakistan attach great importance to this visit and we believe the leaders of the two countries will have an in-depth discussion on issues of mutual interest. With the concerted efforts of the two sides, this visit will surely inject a strong boost to China-Pakistan relations. China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners, and our bilateral relations will not be affected by any changes in the international and domestic landscapes.
Regarding the issue of the CPEC, I have taken similar questions here for many times. The Pakistani government and all sectors of its society have made it clear that the CPEC is a cooperation project for mutual benefit and plays an important role in improving people’s livelihood and driving Pakistan’s economic development. The assertion that the CPEC is causing financial and debt problems for Pakistan has been stirred up by some people every now and then. But the Pakistani side already made it clear that debts incurred by the CPEC only account for a very small portion of Pakistan’s total debts and it is not a reason why Pakistan is experiencing financial difficulties. If the two sides talk about the CPEC during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit, it will be about how the two sides will work together to firmly advance the CPEC.