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Chinese president delays Pakistan trip over Islamabad protests: FO

Updated September 06, 2014


Chinese President Xi Jinping. — File photo
Chinese President Xi Jinping. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Ministry says Chinese President Xi Jinping's first visit to Pakistan has been postponed over the mass anti-government demonstrations shaking Islamabad.

Protesters have been demanding that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif step down over allegations of fraud in last year's election.

The Foreign Ministry issued a statement Saturday saying Beijing and Islamabad “mutually agreed” to postpone the visit, which was to take place later this month.

It said new dates for the visit were being discussed.

Sharif has said postponing the Chinese leader's visit would be a great loss as he was hoping for $34 billion in Chinese investment in the coming years.

Chinese FO spokesman says visit was not 'officially announced'

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang at press conference Friday said there was no announcement made regarding a planned visit of the Chinese president.

While responding to a question, the FO spokesman said that China and Pakistan are friendly neighbours and have maintained close high-level exchanges but "it is worth pointing out that we have never released any information about President Xi's visit to Pakistan officially.

"There is no basis to say we are about to cancel anything", the press release said.

Also read: Confusion remains over Chinese president’s visit