Published: Thu, April 25, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

BRI forum: PM Imran to leave for China tomorrow

BRI forum: PM Imran to leave for China tomorrow

Angola, Zambia and Pakistan were among several low and middle income countries that sought help from the International Monetary Fund a year ago after defaulting on Chinese loans for infrastructure projects.

The prime minister will be visiting the country on the invitation of President Xi Jinping to attend the 2nd Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on Friday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping committed Thursday to a P7.7-billion (1 billion yuan) grant to the Philippines under its Belt and Road Initiative, Malacañang said.

Later, Mahathir held a bilateral meeting with Zhanshu and his delegation.

Speaking about the second phase of the China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC), PM Imran noted that the two countries "are jointly focusing on socio-economic development, job creation, as well as livelihood, agriculture and industrial projects, including Special Economic Zones".

The premier is also set to address a Pakistan Business and Investment Forum on Sunday, which is expected to be attended by several prominent Pakistani and Chinese businessmen.

The second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will see the participation of around 40 world leaders, as well as representatives from 100 countries.

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In a statement before his departure, the PM Imran Khan expressed resolve to take the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between Pakistan and China to newer heights.

Pakistan and China would also sign several memorandum of understandings and agreements to enhance bilateral cooperation in diverse areas.

Beijing's leader vowed to give the financial grant along with the promise of importing more fruits from Manila during his bilateral meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

Facts have proven that maintaining good-neighborliness and friendship between China and the Philippines keeps abreast of the historical trend, conforms with the peoples' expectation, and is the only right option, Xi said.

"China is a lasting and reliable friend of the Philippines", Duterte said, adding that the Philippines will stick to an independent foreign policy.

The Philippines is willing to properly handle the maritime issues in order not to affect the development of bilateral relations, he said.

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