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China, Pakistan Leaders Discuss Multibillion-Dollar Investments

  • RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal

Pakistani state media says talks focusing on multibillion-dollar investment deals are under way between Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping in Islamabad.

Xi, who arrived in Pakistan on April 20, is expected to unveil infrastructure and energy projects worth an estimated $46 billion.

Beijing and Islamabad are hoping to establish a Pakistan-China Economic Corridor, linking the Pakistani port of Gwadar on the Arabian Sea and China's western Xinjiang region.

The corridor will run through Pakistan's poor Balochistan Province, long plagued by a separatist insurgency, criminal gangs, and Islamist militants.

Xi was also expected to discuss cooperation on Afghanistan and China's fears that Muslim separatists from Xinjiang are linking up with Pakistani militants.

On the eve of his visit, Xi linked economic cooperation with progress on security.

"China and Pakistan need to align security concerns more closely to strengthen security cooperation," he said in a statement to Pakistani media.

With reporting by Reuters and Dawn.com
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