China’s President Xi Jinping has signed a deal with Pakistan promising $46bn (£30.7bn) of investment.
China plans to inject some $46bn – almost three times the entire foreign direct investment Pakistan has received since 2008. Many say Mr Sharif’s penchant for “thinking big” and China’s increasing need to control maritime trade routes may well combine to pull off an economic miracle in Pakistan.
But there are questions over Pakistan’s ability to absorb this investment given its chronic problems with militancy, separatism, political volatility and official corruption.
China is worried about violence from ethnic Uighurs in its mostly Muslim north-western Xinjiang region and fears hard-line separatists could team up with Uighur militants fighting alongside members of Pakistan’s Taliban.
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