ISLAMABAD: Two days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s transit visit, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is reaching Islam­abad on Friday (today) on a three-day official visit.

The state-run news agency APP quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokes­person Hua Chunying as saying during a regular press briefing in Beijing that the Chinese foreign minister would be visiting Pakistan from Sept 7 to 9 at the invitation of Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Besides meeting his Pakistani counterpart, Mr Wang is likely to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan and president-elect Arif Alvi during his stay in Islamabad to have discussions on bilateral issues with focus on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects.

“Wang Yi will also meet the main leaders of Pakis­tani side and exchange views on bilateral relations, reg­ional as well as international issues of mutual interest,” the spokesperson said without elaborating. It is not clear if the Chinese minister also plans to have meetings with the leaders of opposition parties, including the PML-N and PPP.

Hua Chunying said China and Pakistan were all-weather, strategic and cooperative partners and their bilateral ties had been developing at sound momentum.

“We have seen frequent high-level exchanges and political cooperation is also moving forward and there are rich outcomes from CPEC,” the spokesperson reportedly said.

The visit of the Chinese FM has acquired significance as it is taking place days after a similar visit by top US officials in which both countries agreed to reset their ties and reached an understanding that the Trump administration and the new Pakistani government would try to deliver on each other’s expectations.

Published in Dawn, September 7th, 2018

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