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PM Shehbaz, Xi agree to strengthen cooperation on CPEC, other areas – Pakistan



Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on Wednesday to strengthen the strategic partnership between Islamabad and Beijing, as well as multilateral cooperation in various areas, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The bilateral consensus between the two leaders was reached as PM Shehbaz called on Xi at the People’s Great Hall of China this morning, hours after landing in Beijing yesterday night for a two-day official visit.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif interacts with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday.—@Marriyum_A/Twitter

During the meeting, the Chinese president and PM Shehbaz discussed “broad-based cooperation in economy and investment and exchanged views on regional and global developments”.

They expressed the desire to further promote the all-weather strategic cooperation partnership between their countries.

re-elected Xi as the party’s general secretary last month.

Prior to his departure to Beijing on Tuesday, PM Shehbaz had explained that the trip was aimed at revitalising the ambitious CPEC, seeking investment in various sectors in Pakistan and increasing bilateral trade.

He had tweeted that during his visit, he would hold discussions with the Chinese leadership on the strengthening of bilateral relations, particularly the revitalisation of the multi-billion-dollar CPEC project. The second phase of the project promised to usher in a new era of socio-economic progress that would uplift the quality of people’s lives, he had added.

“There is a lot to learn from Chinese economic miracle,” the premier had said.

During the trip, the premier will also meet his Chinese counterpart, Premier Li Keqiang, on whose invitation he is in Beijing.

The prime minister is also scheduled to meet Chinese investors and Pakistani businessmen, and the visit is expected to advance the wide-ranging bilateral cooperation agenda with the conclusion of a number of memoranda of understanding in diverse areas and consolidate the momentum of CPEC cooperation in the wake of the 11th meeting of the CPEC Joint Cooperation Committee held on Oct 27.

The coalition government in Islamabad has already accused the previous PTI government of slowing down the pace of CPEC.

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