Pakistan agrees to 13th bailout in 30 years from the IMF

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN)Pakistan will receive around $6 billion in a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) it was announced Sunday, the thirteenth time the South Asian country has received financing from the IMF in 30 years. Khan met with IMF director Christine Lagarde in February, as he sought to secure funding from the agency despite being a longterm critic of its previous dealings in Pakistan. The IMF has been criticized in the past for imposing strict austerity on receiver nations, forcing governments to cut social programs and privatize national industries. Khan has spoken of the need for a major anti-poverty program to boost Pakistan’s economy and help its worst off citizens, but this will involve considerable spending that is …

China’s billion-dollar Belt and Road party: Who’s in and who’s out

Hong Kong (CNN)Leaders from across the world have arrived in Beijing for the second Belt and Road Forum, drawn by the possibility of billions of dollars in Chinese funding for infrastructure projects. Since its launch, the Chinese government claims up to 150 countries have signed on board, at least in principle. In the first half of 2019, overseas loans as part of the project have already totaled more than $90 billion. But with the vast loans has come criticism that Beijing is loading up poor countries with unpayable debts to gain a diplomatic or commercial advantage. President Xi alluded to potential criticisms of his Belt and Road policy in a keynote speech to the gathered world leaders on Friday. And …