China’s President Xi Jinping will visit Pakistan next week, where he will sign a slew of crucial agreements on energy, infrastructure and other projects worth $46 billion. The showpiece outcome of the presidential visit will be the establishment of the mammoth China-Pakistan Economic Corridor
Alluding to President Xi’s upcoming visit, China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao said this visit highlights the importance Beijing places on developing Pakistan-China relations. The president’s visit is expected to lay out a structured plan on strengthening multifaceted cooperation with Pakistan for next 5-10 years, but also take the relationship to a whole new level.
Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman of Pakistan’s defence committee, was all praise for China, Pakistan’s all-weather friend. “China treats us as a friend, an ally, a partner and above all an equal — not how the Americans and others do,” he said.
Xi’s visit, the first visit by a Chinese leader to Islamabad in over nine years, is expected to see the signing of several agreements in the area of trade, infrastructure, energy, finance, science and technology. The real headline-hogging outcomes, however, will be the establishments of the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor. The corridor is planned to link China’s Western region of Xinjiang with Pakistan’s deepwater Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea. In addition to that, China will also be building railways, roads and other infrastructure in Pakistan — a huge assistance to Pakistan’s struggling economy.
China and Pakistan have long been strategic partners, especially in the areas of security and military. Beijing is currently the largest supplier of military hardware to Pakistan. As per a recent report, Pakistan is also planning to purchase eight nuclear submarines from China – a move that has caused much concern in India.
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