Mr. Khan said Chinese officials voiced fears over stability in Pakistan and the security of investments in the country
Chinese officials have expressed concern over the future of their investments in Pakistan because of rising instability in the country, telling visiting Pakistani politician Imran Khan in talks this week that without security, Beijing will find it difficult to continue supporting its “all-weather” ally.
The Communist Party of China (CPC) invited Mr. Khan and his Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) party to Beijing this week as part of an effort to widen its engagement with a range of political forces in Pakistan.
Mr. Khan’s visit to China comes just as the former cricketer’s political profile has experienced an unexpected resurgence, following a recent mass PTI rally in Lahore.
Top officials of the CPC’s International Department met Mr. Khan in Beijing, as did Ismail Tiliwaldi, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, and the former chairman of the Xinjiang region, which borders Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
In talks this week, Chinese officials voiced fears over stability in Pakistan and the security of investments in the country, Mr. Khan said in an interaction with journalists.
“[The Chinese officials] did mention that if there instability, how can you have investment?” he said. “Pakistan is going through one of its most unstable periods. This is not a time when people want to invest in the country.”
In September, a Chinese coal mining company, the Kingho Group, said it had pulled out of a $19 billion deal, what was supposed to be Pakistan’s biggest ever foreign investment agreement, because of security fears.
Mr. Khan said the Chinese officials asked him what role his party could play in stabilising Pakistan.
They did not, however, raise the issue of the security situation in Xinjiang, where the regional government has blamed terrorists trained in camps in Pakistan for carrying out attacks in July.
“There wasn’t any discussion on Xinjiang,” Mr. Khan said. “They were more worried about stability in Pakistan.”