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PM Imran Khan lands in Beijing for four-day visit

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Prime Minister Imran Khan speaking to Chinese officials after arriving in Beijing for his four-day visit, on February 3, 2022. — PID
Prime Minister Imran Khan speaking to Chinese officials after arriving in Beijing for his four-day visit, on February 3, 2022. — PID

BEIJING: Prime Minister Imran Khan touched down in the Chinese capital on Thursday for a four-day official visit, where he is scheduled to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics and meet the country’s leadership.

PM Imran will attend the event to express solidarity with Beijing as some countries have boycotted the forthcoming Winter Olympic Games being held in the Chinese capital.

According to the PM Office, the premier was “accorded a red carpet welcome” upon his arrival at the Beijing Capital International Airport.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, and Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad, National Security Advisor Dr Moeed Yusuf, Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razzaq Dawood and Special Assistant on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Khalid Mansoor are accompanying him.

Besides attending the ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, the prime minister is scheduled to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang to discuss wide-ranging issues.

During the visit, a book titled “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor — Investment Opportunities in Pakistan,” will be presented to Chinese President Xi Jinping, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and businessmen.

Prior to departure, the accompanying ministers termed the prime minister’s visit to China of great significance.

FM Qureshi said PM Imran’s meeting with the Chinese leadership would focus on bilateral strategic partnership, regional matters, and peace and security in South Asia.

On the other hand, Finance Minister Tarin said that the PM would propose to the Chinese leadership to relocate their industry in Pakistan’s Special Economic Zones for a win-win situation besides extending assistance in agriculture.

NSA Moeed Yousaf said the visit would provide an opportunity to discuss ways to improve peace in Afghanistan to end terrorism.

Commerce Adviser Dawood said the meetings would focus on some areas of the free trade agreement and trade of cement, rice, fruit and vegetables.

‘Pakistan-China relations higher than the Himalayas’

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has said that PM Imran Khan’s China tour would further enhance the bilateral relations between Islamabad and Beijing.

The statement came during a media briefing in Islamabad on Thursday, ahead of PM Imran’s departure for China.

“Pakistan-China relations are deeper than the oceans and higher than the Himalayas,” the minister said.

Fawad went on to say that the premier will call on his Chinese counterpart and Chinese president. He will also hold meetings with the Chinese investors and businessmen on the sidelines of the tour.

He further stated that the prime minister’s visit would follow the arrival of more Chinese businessmen in Pakistan to shift their industries here.

PM Imran’s visit was notified by the Foreign Office in a statement issued on Wednesday.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit China from February 3-6 to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games,” the FO said.

As a global event, the Olympic Games 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,” according to the statement.

The FO said during the visit, the prime minister would hold bilateral meetings with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. The leaders will review the entire gamut of bilateral relations, with a particular focus on stronger trade and economic cooperation including CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor),” it said.

A number of Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) and agreements will be concluded during the visit. In Beijing, the prime minister will also meet prominent business leaders of China and representatives of leading Chinese think-tanks, academia and the media.

He will also have other bilateral interactions on the sidelines. The two sides will also hold wide-ranging exchange of views on major regional and international issues.

The prime minister’s visit will mark the culmination of celebrations commemorating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China, with more than 140 events organized to showcase the resilience of the All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the unfolding international situation.

“It 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,” the FO statement said.

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