PM Imran calls on Li Keqiang, lays floral wreath at Heroes Monument

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Mr Khan, who arrived in the early hours on Friday on a four-day visit, met Xi in the Great Hall of People where the two leaders also held one-on-one meeting besides delegation-level talks, Pakistan media reports said.

He said: "My party has only been in power for two months. Unfortunately we have inherited a very hard economic situation", Khan said.

"Countries go in cycles". Unfortunately, our country is going through a low point at the moment with two very big deficits, a fiscal deficit and a current account deficit. 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. However, there was no immediate official comment from Beijing on the report.

However, the Chinese government's top diplomat, State Councilor Wang Yi, told Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a separate meeting that China would not let Pakistan down.

Xi appreciated Khan for repeatedly stressing that he would view the relations with China as a political cornerstone in Pakistan's foreign policy and would unswervingly promote the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The two countries also signed MoUs for cooperation in forestry, earth sciences and transfer of electronics.

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

This is Prime Minister Imran Khan's first official visit to China on the invitation of President Xi Jinping.

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They agreed to continue strategic communication on regional and global issues of importance, Radio Pakistan reported.

He said with Pakistan having oldest relationship with China, it was the only friendly country in the world on whom people in Pakistan felt they could always depend in the hour of need.

President Xi congratulated Prime Minister Khan on his election and assumption of the office.

Khan is also keen to renegotiate Islamabad's projects under the "Belt and Road Initiative", Beijing's global trade and infrastructure development programme. They reaffirmed their complete common understanding on early realisation of CPEC projects.

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

The minister said: "Cooperation in agriculture and security realm will be part of our discussion with the Chinese leadership". PM Khan is leading the Pakistani delegation, while President Xi is leading the Chinese side. He said no other nation in human history had been able to achieve this success.

While commerce minister Dawood said some of the CPEC projects were unfair to Pakistani companies and should be put on hold for a year, Railways Minister Rasheed said Pakistan wants to cut the size of the United States dollars 8 billion Karachi-Peshawar rail line, the biggest project of the CPEC, by USD 2 billion.

He said that the government is also making all-out efforts for poverty alleviation. Unfortunately, we have inherited a very hard economic situation.

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