Beijing: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, becoming the first head of state to visit China since Xi’s re-election for the third time.
This is also Sharif’s first visit to China since assuming office in April this year and follows his meeting with Xi in Uzbekistan in September. “During his maiden 2-days visit to China, PM Shehbaz Sharif and President Xi Jinping met at the People’s Great Hall of China to discuss broad-based cooperation in economy and investment and exchanged views on regional and global developments,” tweeted Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Sharif is heading a high-level delegation, including Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. He is also scheduled to hold delegation-level talks with Premier Li Keqiang review the All-Weather Strategic Cooperation Partnership between China and Pakistan.
Ahead of his visit Sharif in an opinion piece for Chinese media outlet Global Times on October 30 said: “I would be soon in Beijing on my first bilateral visit after assuming office, and that too at an opportune time, soon after the successful conclusion of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.”
“For Pakistan, relations with China form the cornerstone of our foreign policy; in China, Pakistan is described as Ba Tie i.e. China’s Iron Brother, and elsewhere our ties are appreciated for their unique strength, enduring permanence and unfathomable trust,” he wrote.
Before leaving for China, Sharif said that his discussions with Chinese leadership will focus on revitalization of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor among many other things.
“My discussions with Chinese leadership will focus on revitalization of CPEC among many other things. 2nd phase of CPEC promises to usher in a new era of socio-economic progress that will uplift quality of our people’s lives. There is a lot to learn from Chinese economic miracle,” Sharif tweeted.
CPEC’s next phase of high quality development will encompass key areas such as industry, energy, agriculture, ICT, rail and road network and developing Gwadar Port as a hub of trade and transhipment, investment and regional connectivity.
Meanwhile, China raised the issue of safety and security of Chinese personnel and projects in Pakistan ahead of Sharif’s visit.
Xi Jinping was elected General Secretary of the Chinese communist party for the third time in the recently held 20th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party where he was elected as the general secretary and head of the pary for the next five years. (ANI)