Pakistani PM to visit China after 20th CPC National Congress, 'demonstrating the special friendship and strategic mutual trust'
Published: Oct 26, 2022 04:49 PM
Shehbaz Sharif. Photo: Courtesy of Embassy of Pakistan in Beijing

Shehbaz Sharif. Photo: Courtesy of Embassy of Pakistan in Beijing

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will visit China on November 1 upon invitation by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin announced on Wednesday. 

Sharif is among the first batch of foreign leaders to visit China after the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) concluded, demonstrating the special friendship and strategic mutual trust between China and Pakistan, Wang said at a routine news conference. 

This will also be Sharif's first visit to China since taking office in April, a continuation of the positive momentum of close high-level contacts between the two countries, Wang said. 

During his visit, Sharif is scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. He will also hold talks with Premier Li Keqiang, and meet with Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Li Zhanshu. The leaders will have in-depth exchanges of views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern, and jointly plan and put forward the blueprint for the development of China-Pakistan relations, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry. 

Wang noted that China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners and ironclad brothers. The two countries have always understood each other, trusted each other and supported each other over the past 70 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties. 

"Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan, the bilateral relationship has been a classic example of friendly interaction between countries with different systems, social types and nationalities, which is also recognized by the international community," Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

China looks forward to working with Pakistan in order to take this visit as an opportunity to further promote all-weather and high-level strategic cooperation, build a closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era, and make greater contributions to the maintenance of regional peace and stability and international fairness and justice, the spokesperson noted. 

Because China-Pakistan relations are an all-weather strategic partnership, the two sides have extensive and deep common language and interests in major international and regional affairs, Qian noted. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is expected to be an important topic during Sharif's visit to China, he said.

He noted that as the CPEC has entered a high-quality second phase, the two sides will continue to solidify the all-weather strategic partnership, and then strive to promote a smoother development. It is also an important opportunity to drive the close development of political, economic, diplomatic and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries in various fields.

On Tuesday, Hu Zhaoming, spokesperson for the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, announced that General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong will pay an official visit to China from October 30 to November 2. 

Vietnam's communist party chief and the Pakistani prime minister are the first foreign leaders China has confirmed as upcoming visitors following the conclusion of the 20th CPC National Congress, which reflects that friendly cooperation with neighboring countries will continue to be an important basis of China's foreign policy, Qian said.

"Both Vietnam and Pakistan are the important neighboring countries for China," he said. "It can be understood that neighboring countries remain the foundation of China's future foreign policy. China is laying the foundation for the construction of a community with a shared future for mankind, by continuing to strengthen cooperation with friendly neighboring countries, solidifying neighboring relations and building a neighboring community with a shared future."