PM Imran to leave for 4-day China visit tomorrow

Published February 2, 2022
This file photo shows China's President Xi Jinping (R) shaking hands with Prime Minister Imran Khan (L) before their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on April 28, 2019. — AFP/File
This file photo shows China's President Xi Jinping (R) shaking hands with Prime Minister Imran Khan (L) before their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on April 28, 2019. — AFP/File

Prime Minister Imran Khan will be leaving for China on Thursday on a four-day visit, during which he will attend the Winter Olympics 2022 in Beijing and hold bilateral meetings with President Xi Jinping and premier Li Keqiang.

According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office (FO) in Islamabad, Prime Minister Imran's visit from February 3 to February 6 has been scheduled on the Chinese leadership's special invitation and he will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including members of the Cabinet and senior government officials.

The statement said that in meetings between the premier and the Chinese leadership, the entire gamut of bilateral relations between Pakistan and China would be reviewed, with a particular focus on stronger trade and economic cooperation, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

"They will also have wide-ranging exchange of views on major regional and international issues," the statement added.

The prime minister’s visit is taking place after nearly two years and it will mark the culmination of celebrations commemorating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China, according to the FO.

In this regard, the statement said, more than 140 events had been organised to "showcase the resilience of the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and the unfolding international situation".

"It (the visit) would thus renew the bilateral commitment to taking the iron-clad partnership between Pakistan and China to new heights and add impetus to cooperation across multiple domains."

According to the FO statement, a number of memoranda of understanding and agreements would be concluded during the visit, and the prime minister would also meet prominent business leaders of China and representatives of leading Chinese think-tanks, academia and the media.

"The prime minister will also have other bilateral interactions on the sidelines," the statement said.

In relevance to the visit, the statement also highlighted the importance of the Olympics, describing the global event as a means to "foster mutual understanding, inclusivity and friendship among the peoples of the world".

"Beijing will soon become the first city to host both summer and winter editions of the Olympic Games. It is highly admirable that the Chinese government has made meticulous arrangements for holding the Winter Olympic Games despite the Covid-19 pandemic," the statement read.

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