On May 13, 2017, China and Pakistan signed a US$50 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop and complete the North Indus River Cascade which has the potential of generating 40,000 MW hydroelectric power. The MoU was signed during the Diamer-Bhasha Project Conference hosted by China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) in Beijing, China. The conference was part of the Belt and Road Summit held in Beijing during May 14-15, 2017.
This $50 billion investment is in addition to the $57 billion projects being committed by Chinato power and road infrastructure projects in Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). With this agreement, China emerges as the leading financier of infrastructure development in Pakistan.