Pakistan, China sign 15 agreements, MoUs on bilateral cooperation

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He defended the Dollars 60 billion CPEC, saying that it is an economic cooperation project between China and Pakistan. The project is meant to modernise Pakistani infrastructure and bolster the country economy by building various transportation networks, energy projects and special economic zones.

"China has always supported Pakistan's safeguarding of national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the new Pakistani government's smooth running of the government and advancement of national construction", he said.

The Prime Minister said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had given a great opportunity to Pakistan to bring in foreign investment and to get out of the hard economic situation it was facing.

The prime minister emphasised that President Xi's vision of connectivity - Belt and Road, and its flagship project CPEC, would translate into a win-win for shared prosperity in the region and beyond.

"In 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that it is only by respecting the autonomy of countries involved, there can be regional connectivity and avoid differences and disorientation".

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He also said the two sides should boost people-to-people exchanges, strengthen anti-terrorism cooperation and increase coordination and communication on multilateral platforms such as the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Khan had initially vowed to curb borrowing, but has proceeded with projects such as one to build 5 million public housing units and has predicted that Pakistan would soon overcome its economic woes.

It is also seeking new loans from Saudi Arabia and China.

Xi assured Khan that China considers its relations with Pakistan a diplomatic priority.

But while neither leader mentioned economic aid in front of reporters, China's top diplomat guaranteed support from Beijing in a separate meeting with his Pakistani counterpart.

Finance minister Asad Umar, who is accompanying Khan, earlier told media in Islamabad that Pakistan's strategy was to seek loans from multiple sources instead of asking the International Monetary Fund (IMF) alone to plug the entire gap in the country's financing needs.

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He hailed the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership as a special friendship shaped and developed during a long time of mutual support and close cooperation.

"It is not targeted against any third party", he said, despite the project passing through PoK.

Greeted by Xi at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Khan said he had come to "learn" from China's experiences in combatting poverty and corruption.

His visit here was regarded as significant as it is taking place amid critical remarks made by some ministers in Khan's Cabinet on the CPEC which had caused consternation among Chinese leaders considering the "all-weather" relations.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (R) and China´s Premier Li Keqiang attend a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

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The India-occupied Jammu & Kashmir remains the most militarized zone in the world, where the occupation forces are killing and maiming people on a daily basis.

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