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Xi Jinping's warm welcome in Pakistan

Updated 20 Apr, 2015 10:39pm

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Pakistan on Monday to launch projects worth $46 billion, a figure that would far exceed U.S. spending in Pakistan and underscores China's economic ambitions in Asia and beyond.

Xi oversaw agreements on pipelines, power plants and other projects as part of a massive $46 billion joint development programmme that Beijing hopes will stabilise its longtime ally's economy and extend China's influence in western Asia. Pakistan hopes that the investment plan will end a chronic energy crisis and transform it into a regional economic hub.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan's President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif review guard of honour. —Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan's President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif review guard of honour. —Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan's President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif review guard of honour. —Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan's President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif review guard of honour. —Reuters
Xi Jinping shakes hands with Army Chief Raheel Sharif after arriving at Nur Khan air base in Rawalpindi. — AFP
Xi Jinping shakes hands with Army Chief Raheel Sharif after arriving at Nur Khan air base in Rawalpindi. — AFP
Xi Jinping inspects a guard of honour upon his arrival at Nur Khan air base. — AFP
Xi Jinping inspects a guard of honour upon his arrival at Nur Khan air base. — AFP
Children clad in colourful traditional clothes waved Pakistani and Chinese flags and sang anthems of Pakistan-China friendship as the Chinese President and the first lady passed by. — AFP
Children clad in colourful traditional clothes waved Pakistani and Chinese flags and sang anthems of Pakistan-China friendship as the Chinese President and the first lady passed by. — AFP
Eight PAF JF -17 Thunders escort Chinese president's aircraft as it entered the Pakistani Airspace. — APP
Eight PAF JF -17 Thunders escort Chinese president's aircraft as it entered the Pakistani Airspace. — APP
Xi Jinping, Nawaz Sharif look on as Pakistani Finance Minister Ishaq Dar  and a Chinese official sign an MoU at PM House in Islamabad. — APP
Xi Jinping, Nawaz Sharif look on as Pakistani Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and a Chinese official sign an MoU at PM House in Islamabad. — APP

Preparations began well in advance in Islamabad ahead of the two-day visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping who arrived on Monday. The much anticipated visit is the first by a Chinese president to Pakistan after nine years.

A Pakistani resident crosses a road in front of welcome banners ahead of the forthcoming visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping in Islamabad. — AFP
A Pakistani resident crosses a road in front of welcome banners ahead of the forthcoming visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping in Islamabad. — AFP
A policeman stands guard next to giant portraits of (L-R) Pakistan's President Mamnoon Hussain, China's President Xi Jinping, and Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, displayed along a road ahead of Xi's visit to Islamabad April 19, 2015.— Reuters
A policeman stands guard next to giant portraits of (L-R) Pakistan's President Mamnoon Hussain, China's President Xi Jinping, and Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, displayed along a road ahead of Xi's visit to Islamabad April 19, 2015.— Reuters
A Pakistani worker hangs a billboard showing pictures of Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, with Pakistan's President Mamnoon Hussain, right, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif welcoming Xi Jingping's to Islamabad. — AP
A Pakistani worker hangs a billboard showing pictures of Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, with Pakistan's President Mamnoon Hussain, right, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif welcoming Xi Jingping's to Islamabad. — AP
Labourers arrange a welcome billboard featuring the Chinese and Pakistani national flags ahead of the forthcoming visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping.— AFP
Labourers arrange a welcome billboard featuring the Chinese and Pakistani national flags ahead of the forthcoming visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping.— AFP
A worker hangs a billboard showing pictures of Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, with Pakistan's President Mamnoon Hussain, left, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif welcoming Xi Jingping to Islamabad, Pakistan, Sunday, April 19, 2015.— AP
A worker hangs a billboard showing pictures of Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, with Pakistan's President Mamnoon Hussain, left, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif welcoming Xi Jingping to Islamabad, Pakistan, Sunday, April 19, 2015.— AP
A motorcyclist rides past a billboard showing pictures of Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, with Pakistan's President Mamnoon Hussain, left, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif welcoming Xi Jingpin to Islamabad.— AP
A motorcyclist rides past a billboard showing pictures of Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, with Pakistan's President Mamnoon Hussain, left, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif welcoming Xi Jingpin to Islamabad.— AP
Labourers decorate the roadside in front of a welcoming billboard.— AFP
Labourers decorate the roadside in front of a welcoming billboard.— AFP
A police officer walks pasts billboards.— AP
A police officer walks pasts billboards.— AP
A man hangs decorations on a pole next to a banner.— Reuters
A man hangs decorations on a pole next to a banner.— Reuters