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China vows to support Pakistan to stabilize its weak economy

China, which has accessible a $9 billion bailout package to Pakistan, on Monday swore more support for the cash-strapped nation, saying that it has done its ‘utmost’ to stabilize the financial condition of its all-weather ally and will continue to do so.

Pakistan had been attractive with China and Saudi Arabia for financial support, including rolling over maturing loans as part of preparations for about $35 billion in putouts against debt and liabilities during the current fiscal year.

Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Saturday last said that Islamabad would be getting about $9 billion from China and $4 billion from Saudi as the government tries to steady the nation’s weak economy.

Quoting Xi Jinping, Dar said the Chinese President in his meeting with Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif during his recent visit to Beijing on November 3 had secure him, “don’t worry, we will not let you down.”

Replying to a query on his reactions to Dar’s declarations, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lilian told a media briefing here, “China has done its utmost to help Pakistan stabilized its financial situation. We have been doing so, and we will continue to do so.”

Zhao degenerated to comment on the current political crisis in Pakistan following the failed shooting attempt on former prime minister Imran Khan, saying, “China has noted pertinent reports. We express our compassions to Imran Khan and wish him a speedy recovery.”

Pakistan owes Paris Club countries a combined sum of around $10.7 billion. The Paris Club is a group of officials from major creditor nations whose role is to find synchronized and sustainable solutions to the payment difficulties practiced by debtor countries.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Pakistan’s total non-Paris Club bilateral debt currently stands at about $27 billion, of which Chinese debt is about $23 billion.

During Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz’s visit to Beijing, the Chinese leadership swore to roll over $4 billion in independent loans, refinance $3.3 billion in commercial bank loans and increase currency swap by about $1.45 billion.

Sharif was among the first foreign leaders to visit China following the recently-concluded historic 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in which President Xi won an unparalleled third five-year term in power.

Xi, 69, was re-elected as the General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) last month, becoming the first leader after party founder Mao Zedong to continue in power after a 10-year tenancy.


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