China Pledges Economic Aid for Pakistan — But Not Yet

Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan was welcomed in Beijing with full honours and promises of support but hopes of Chinese help to rescue the country from a looming balance of payments crisis were dented by the conspicuous absence of any concrete announcement of generous aid, the Financial Times reported. Pakistan is seeking its 13th bailout since the 1980s from the International Monetary Fund. An IMF delegation is expected to visit Islamabad this week to begin discussions on a crucially important new loan to help avert crisis. The central bank’s foreign reserves have sunk in recent months to the equivalent of about seven weeks of imports. Pakistan has received $6bn from Saudi Arabia, and had hoped for a similar-sized package from China, its northern neighbour and longtime “all weather” diplomatic partner. Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said Beijing would “provide support and help to the best of its ability” on Friday. Read more