Mon. Sep 23rd, 2019

PM’s visit to China may renew stalled relationships

Aftab Ahmed

Islamabad:Prime Minister Imran Khan,s visit to China may make some headway in reviving relationship stalled after PTI government comes in power.

The government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has not shown warm response to China like PML-N. The present government has also been critical of some projects like Orange train initiated by PML-N government.

Two ministers of PTI government had been vocal in criticizing CPEC projects publicly. Advisor to Prime Minister Razak Dawood had stated in an interview to foreign media that government would review agreements under CPEC that had sparked controversy. Another minister Murad Saeed had publically made statement that there had been corruption in Multan Sukkar motorway project. It was another controversy that had upset China.

At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Imran Khan is visiting China from April 25 to 28, 2019 to attend the 2nd Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. The Forum will be inaugurated by President Xi Jinping on April 26.

Belt and Road Forum provides a platform to countries participating in Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for exchanging views and experiences on regional connectivity; policy synergy; socio-economic development and trade and commerce. Leaders from 40 countries and delegations from over 100 countries, international organizations and corporate sector would participate in the event.

During the visit, the Prime Minister will be accompanied by a ministerial delegation. He will deliver a keynote speech in the opening ceremony of the Forum and participate in the Leaders’ Round Table.  He would also hold meetings with several Heads of State/Government and corporate and business leaders.

In addition to participating in the Belt and Road Forum, the Prime Minister would also hold bilateral meetings with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. Pakistan and China will also sign several MoUs and Agreements to enhance bilateral cooperation in diverse areas.

Following the Forum, the Prime Minister will attend Beijing International Horticulture Exhibition-2019 and address Pakistan Trade and Investment Conference in Beijing. This will be the second visit of the Prime Minister to China. He had earlier paid a state visit to China in November last year.

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