China to invest $10b in hydro-power projects in Pakistan (Including Bunji Dame In Gilgit-Baltistan)

BEIJING: President Asif Ali Zardari, during his visit to China, met with the Chairman of a Chinese firm that is willing to invest $10 billion in hydro-power projects in Pakistan.

On his sixth visit as President to China, Zardari also met with the President of Exim Bank as well as the President of The Three Gorges Corporation.

Breifing reporters after the meetings, Zardari said the company will build dams in Bunji and Kohala areas. The dams are to generate 7,000 and 12,000 megawatts respectively.

China has said it has the right to pursue nuclear power projects with Pakistan — which China treats as acounter-weight to Indian influence. Chinese nuclear companies have built one reactor unit at the Chashma atomic complex in Pakistan’s Punjab province, and they are building another one likely to be finished in 2011 or 2012. Chinese companies have also unveiled plans to build another two bigger reactors at Chashma in coming years.

President Zardari also held talks with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

A nearly $7 billion trade deal between the two countries is also expected to be discussed.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told the media that China and Pakistan will sign cooperation agreements in agriculture, healthcare, economy and technology sectors during President Zardari’s visit.

Commenting on some media reports which claimed that China is striving to balance relations with India and Pakistan, Qin said China expects good neighbourly, friendly and cooperative relations with its two South Asian neighbours.

“We are willing to make joint efforts with both India and Pakistan to promote our bilateral ties, which will benefit the people in the three countries and common development and prosperity of the region,” Qin said, noting that China is also glad to witness improvements in Indo-Pak ties. Published in Tribune Express

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