Khan heads to China with money on his mind

PESHAWAR – Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will fly to Beijing today (February 3) to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics and meet Chinese leaders to assuage Beijing’s security concerns and address differences over billions of dollars worth of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects in his country.

Khan is scheduled to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and other Chinese dignitaries from February 3-6 where discussions will inevitably turn toward the US$1.5 billion in overdue payments Pakistan owes Chinese energy companies that have built power plants as part of the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The CPEC Authority has already warned that the Chinese-built power units may go into default if unpaid dues are not cleared soon. During a briefing with Prime Minister Khan last week, the authority cautioned that Chinese Independent Power Producers (IPPs) may soon suspend their operations under Power Purchase Agreements due to the rising prices of coal on international markets.

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