The Newspaper's Staff ReporterUpdated September 17, 2018
ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa arrived in Beijing on Sunday on a three-day official visit.
Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) chief Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor through his official Twitter account said that during his stay in China, the army chief would interact with Chinese leaders, including his counterpart.
Last week, the Chinese ambassador to Pakistan had called on the army chief to discuss matters of mutual interest and regional security, following a controversial report in a London-based newspaper quoting Adviser to PM Abdul Razzak Dawood seeking one year halt to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects to review its ramifications for Pakistani industrialists.
The ambassador had appreciated the conduct of the successful visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Islamabad and support for CPEC in Pakistan.
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The army chief during the meeting had reiterated that security for CPEC would never be compromised.
Gen Bajwa is undertaking the visit in the wake of reports that Pakistan was seeking financial support from China to shore up its foreign exchange reserves in view of the US opposition to any bailout package by the International Monetary Fund to Pakistan to service Chinese loans.
Moreover, the visit is significant after an agreement between Pakistan and China to formally invite “third-country” investors to be part of the $60 billion CPEC and add social sector and regional development schemes to the existing portfolio of the CPEC projects.
The understanding on addition of “two major dimensions” to the CPEC projects came about at a long meeting held in Islamabad between the Planning, Development and Reforms Commission of Pakistan and the National Development and Reforms Commission of China last week.
Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2018