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Pakistan's Deputy Prime Minister Dar to visit China next week

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NewsDrum Desk
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Islamabad, May 11 (PTI) Pakistan's newly-appointed Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar will embark on a three-day official visit to China on May 13, during which he will meet top Chinese leaders and comprehensively review bilateral relations, including the upgradation of the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

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Dar, who is also the foreign minister, will co-chair the 5th Pakistan-China Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Saturday.

"The two sides will comprehensively review Pakistan-China bilateral relations including economic and trade cooperation; high-level exchanges and visits; upgradation of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and future connectivity initiatives," the statement said.

The CPEC, which connects Gwadar Port in Pakistan's Balochistan with China's Xinjiang province, is opposed by India as it is being laid through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

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Dar and Wang will also exchange views on the unfolding regional geopolitical landscape and bilateral cooperation at the multilateral forum.

During his visit from May 13-16, Dar is also expected to meet Chinese leaders, senior ministers and leading corporate executives, the statement said. Dar's visit to Beijing comes amid reports that Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is expected to visit China in the coming weeks.

Dar's visit is part of "regular high-level exchanges" between Pakistan and China, reflecting the "importance attached by the two countries to further deepening the 'All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership', reaffirming mutual support on issues of core interest; enhancing economic and trade cooperation including CPEC; and reinforcing joint commitment to regional peace and development," it said.

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China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian on Friday said that Beijing is willing to work with Islamabad to take Dar's visit "as an opportunity to further implement the important consensus of the leaders of the two countries," The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

Asserting that the China-Pakistan friendship had become stronger over the years, Lin said that both countries joined hands to cope with changes in the international and regional situation, deepening mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation.

Lin said that after the elections in Pakistan earlier this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Qiang and Chairman Zhao Leji congratulated the Pakistani leaders at the first opportunity, expressing China’s sincere congratulations and good wishes.

“The Chinese side was willing to carry forward the traditional friendship between China and Pakistan, strengthen strategic communication and coordination, deepen practical cooperation in various fields and create an upgraded version of the construction of CPEC,” he was quoted as saying in the report.

He reiterated China’s desire to deepen the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries and accelerate the construction of a closer community of destiny between them in the new era. PTI GRS AKJ GRS GRS

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