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China maintains silence on USD 2 billion loan to Pakistan

twitter-logoPTI | January 2, 2019 | Updated 16:53 IST

By K J M Varma Beijing, Jan 2 (PTI) China reportedly agreed to lend at least USD two billion to Pakistan to shore up its foreign exchange reserves, but Beijing on Wednesday declined to reveal any details. "China and Pakistan are all weather strategic cooperative partners," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a media briefing here on Wednesday. When asked about a report by the London-based the Financial Times that China has agreed to lend USD 2 billion to Pakistan, Lu spoke about Beijing's continued assistance to Islamabad but did not provide any details. China will continue assistance through trade, investment and all around practical cooperation for the economic and social development of Pakistan, he said. "The two sides have always maintained close communication on the relevant cooperation," he said. China has not disclosed the amount it committed to Pakistan during the maiden visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Beijing in November last. Khan had sought Beijing’s assistance to tide over difficult balance payment crisis. Some Pakistani media reported that Islamabad is likely to get USD six billion loan but China didn't confirm the amount. Subsequently, a Pakistani team headed by top official of the State Bank of Pakistan visited China for detailed talks. Khan visited China after getting USD six billion assistance commitment from Saudi Arabia. The UAE also reported to have pledged USD three billion loan to Pakistan. Facing a tight balance of payment situation, Pakistan has also sought a bailout package from the IMF. PTI KJV ZH ZH

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