PM Shehbaz hopes to further deepen ties with China during his visit
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that he expects to further deepen strategic relations and enhance trade and business ties with China during his visit on Tuesday.
“This visit — most definitely — I hope will result into further cementing our relations, further enhancing business, our trade, our strategic relations with China,” he told China Global Television Network (CGTN) in an interview.
The prime minister is scheduled to begin an official visit to China on November 1. It will be his first visit to China since he took office in April.
Shehbaz Sharif is among the first batch of foreign leaders to visit China after the conclusion of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Beijing.
“I feel really honoured and deeply touched; it’s very heartwarming to know that I am one of the first leaders from the […] world visiting my very very brotherly and friendly country China,” he said.
He added, “That shows and reflects […] the depth of our friendship and strength of our understanding and our bond.”
The prime minister said that he looks forward to his talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and Chinese leadership to enhance cooperation in various fields.
Regarding assistance extended by China to the flood-hit people in Pakistan, Sharif expressed his gratitude for the Chinese leadership, people and companies who have generously contributed.
“China has supplied food items, medicines, mosquito nets and lots of other items for the flood-affected people,” he added.
He said that the Chinese leadership had contributed in a huge way and it even wanted to know from the Pakistani government what else China could do to support the flood-stricken people.
Appreciating the rapid development of China in economic, social and cultural fields, he opined that China believes in globalization and he wanted to emulate the Chinese model of economic development.
About China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which has entered a high-quality second phase, he said that the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has transformed the energy sector and infrastructure in Pakistan.
The prime minister said that he would discuss expanding the role of CPEC under the BRI.
He also told that the road network constructed under CPEC in all parts of the country has shortened the travelling time and now people could easily reach from one place to another.
The Chinese Embassy in Pakistan also announced the visit in a tweet, saying that the visit would “further advance our all-weather and high-level strategic cooperation.”