Beijing: China’s top diplomat and foreign minister Wang Yi will pay a three-day official visit to Pakistan from Friday. This will be the first high-level visit by any Chinese official to Pakistan after the country elected a new government led by Imran Khan.
“At the invitation of Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, China’s State Councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi will pay an official visit to Pakistan from 7 to 9 September,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said here.
Besides meeting his Pakistani counterpart, Wang is likely to meet Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan and president-elect Arif Alvi and discuss the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and bilateral issues. “He will also meet the main leaders of Pakistani side and exchange views on bilateral relations, regional as well as international issues of mutual interest,” Hua said.
“China and Pakistan are all-weather, strategic and cooperative partners. Our bilateral ties have been developing at sound momentum. “We have seen frequent high-level exchanges and political cooperation is also moving forward and there are rich outcomes from the CPEC,” the spokesperson said.
Wang’s visit came after US secretary Mike Pompeo’s flying visit to Pakistan. Pompeo met Qureshi and Khan before heading to India for a maiden strategic and defence dialogue. Pompeo and Khan pledged to reset the bilateral ties that have sunk to a new a low, especially after Washington, scrapped $300 million of military aid to Islamabad, saying Pakistan did not use the fund to fight terrorism.
India will keenly watch Wang’s visit. The CPEC is one of the pesky issues between Beijing and New Delhi as its planned route cuts through the disputed Kashmir held by Pakistan and claimed by India.
A commentary in Pakistani daily Dawn said “recent global and regional developments, including India’s intensifying alliance with the US to contain China, has created a compulsion for Pakistan and China to further intensify their military and economic relationship”.