PEKING: Within four hours of his arrival here, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had a 90-minute meeting with Chairman Mao Tsetung. The meeting took place in the Tsung Nan-hai study of the Chinese leader within the ochre walls of the former “Forbidden City”. It is said that it is unusual for Chairman Mao to receive a foreign dignitary on the first day of the latter’s arrival in Peking.

On arrival at the study accompanied by Begum Nusrat Bhutto, the Prime Minister presented the principal members of his party to Chairman Mao who shook hands with each and expressed welcome on their visit to China. … Later, Chairman Mao and Prime Minister Bhutto had a conversation in a cordial and friendly atmosphere. … Prime Minister Bhutto’s formal talks with Prime Minister Chou En-lai and other Chinese leaders are expected to begin tomorrow [May 12]. …

The talks are expected to cover a fairly wide range of subjects, besides of course bilateral relations. … China’s hope for closer bonds with Pakistan and for a normalisation of relations among the countries of the Asian sub-continent found clear expression in a “People’s Daily” editorial... .

Published in Dawn, May 12th, 2024

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