China inks deal with Pakistan to set up nuclear power plant

China inked an agreement worth a whopping USD 4.8 billion with cash-strapped Pakistan to set up a 1,200-megawatt nuclear power plant as a sign of increasing strategic cooperation between the two all-weather allies. Key-highlights
  • Under the project, China would build a 1,200-megawatt Chashma-V nuclear plant at Chashma in the Mianwali district of Punjab.
  • The Chashma-V project will be built in the central province of Punjab and will assist Pakistan in transitioning away from fossil fuels.
China-Pakistan Cooperation in Energy Sector
  • China and Pakistan have been strengthening their cooperation in the energy sector.
  • Recently, theK-3 Hualong No.1 nuclear power unit was inaugurated in Pakistan. This marked the first official delivery of China’s self-built third-generation nuclear power technology to a foreign country.
  • The K-2 and K-3 Hualong No.1 nuclear power units in Karachi form the largest nuclear power plant in the country.
Assessing Pakistan’s financial assistance
  • Pakistan, which is under tremendous financial debt, is not getting multilateral loans or even bilateral assistance without the support of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • Only China has stood fast to help Pakistan while Saudi Arabia and the UAE have also been selectively supportive.
  • The IMF signed a deal in 2019 to provide USD 6 billion to Pakistan on fulfilment of certain conditions.
  • The plan was derailed several times and the full reimbursement is still pending due to insistence by the donor that Pakistan should complete all formalities.

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