In a rare visit, Chinese president Xi Jinping on Monday arrived in Pakistan along with plans to unveil a $46-billion investment that promises to 'transform' the country into a regional economic hub.
As Xi Jinping, accompanied by his wife Peng Liyuan, entered the Pakistani airspace, the country sent in 8 FC-1 fighter jets jointly developed by China and Pakistan to escort the Chinese president's plane.
Pakistan has been looking with much anticipation at Xi's two-day trip, the first by a Chinese president in nine years, especially as the country is set to receive billions of dollars for massive infrastructure and energy projects. Besides, several military upgrades which have not been discussed much in public.
The visit was initially was scheduled for September 2014 but was postponed because of anti-government protests in Islamabad aimed at toppling the Nawaz Sharif government.
In the next two-days, China will sign accords for $46 billion for the construction of roads, rails and power plants that will be built on a commercial basis by Chinese companies over 15 years, NYT reported.
Here, we have complied top 5 investment deals that promise to transform Pakistan:
1. A huge chunk out of the promised $46 billion -- at least $34 billion -- will be spent on new energy projects. The two countries are set to cooperate in natural gas, coal, and solar energy projects that will provide 16,400 megawatts of electricity, which will almost double the current power capacity of the country.
2. China has promised another $11 billion for new infrastructure projects linked to the Pakistan-China economic corridor, part of Beijing's ambitious Maritime Silk Road (MSR), which is a network of roads, railways and pipelines that will run through Baluchistan.
3. As part of MSR, China is also will upgrade the 1,300-km Karakoram highway, which the highest paved international road in the world that connects China and Pakistan across the Karakoram Range.
4. Just as important as China's economic assistance are some less published major military deals that will be signed in the next two days. It is reported that Pakistan has agreed to buy eight Chinese Diesel Electric Submarines to counter India's naval dominance in the Indian Ocean. For buying the multi-role nuclear attack submarine Pakistan will be spending close to $6 billion.
5. Another important aspect to note from the deal is that a significant amount of China's new assistance, including the port facility at Gwadar, will be close to the tribal areas where certain Chinese militant groups from Xinjiang are said to be operating from.
By building an economic corridor around the regions used by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, founded by Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking ethnic minority concentrated in northwestern China, Xi seems to be ensuring that Pakistan's military takes aggressive stance against the militant group.
— Tom Antonov (@Tom_Antonov) April 20, 2015