PM Shehbaz Sharif to leave for maiden trip to China on Nov 1

Web Desk
Saif ur Rehman
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif at the Nur Khan Airbase. — APP/File
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif at the Nur Khan Airbase. — APP/File

  • PM will be among first leaders to visit China after the 20th National Congress of Communist Party.
  • PM's delegation to include Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.
  • PM to meet President Xi Jinping, hold delegation level talks with Premier Li Keqiang. 

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will be in China from November 1-2 for his maiden visit at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, announced the Foreign Office spokesperson on Wednesday.

The high-level delegation will include Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.

“This would be prime minister’s first visit to China since assuming office in April 2022 and follows his meeting with President Xi Jinping in Uzbekistan on September 16, the spokesperson said in a statement.

The prime minister will be among the first leaders to visit Beijing following the historic 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, said the FO spokesperson.

The spokesperson said that the visit is also expected to advance the wide-ranging bilateral cooperation agenda after the conclusion of a number of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and agreements expected to be signed at the 11th meeting of the CPEC Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC). 

The JCC meeting will conclude on October 27, the spokesperson said.

“Prime minister’s visit represents the continuity of frequent leadership level exchanges between Pakistan and China. The prime minister will meet with President Xi Jinping and hold delegation level talks with Premier Li Keqiang. The two sides will review the all-weather strategic cooperation partnership and exchange views on regional and global developments,” said the spokesperson.  

Chinese envoy, Ahsan Iqbal discuss CPEC projects

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong Wednesday called on Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal and discussed projects related to the CPEC aimed at the upcoming visit of PM Shehbaz to China.

The meeting, which lasted for an hour, discussed the ongoing projects under CPEC, which will be taken up during the recent visit of premier Shahbaz Sharif to China.

The minister emphasised the importance of several CPEP projects and reiterated that the government is committed to uplifting the CPEC projects.

“The upcoming visit of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif will be significant especially, at a time when President Xi Jinping of China has been elected [for] the third term as China's leader,'' said the minister, while reiterating that the incumbent government has revived the CPEC.

The minister also emphasised the importance of the ML-1 project, Karachi Circular Railways, and several other projects in different sectors like energy, information technology, agriculture, culture, and others.

CPEC projects will have a significant impact on Pakistan’s economy and we are committed to completing the project timely, said the minister, while assuring the Chinese envoy that the government is committed to completing the CPEC projects without any delay and added that self-reliance in the energy sector will stabilize the economy.

Iqbal said that Balochistan's prosperity is connected with the development of Gwadar and the incumbent government will complete all projects under CPEC in Gwadar.

The Chinese ambassador appreciated the efforts of the government especially, the minister for planning and development and assured his complete cooperation.