PM set to undertake maiden China visit

On November 1, amid an economic downturn, pm Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is anticipated to take a flight to Beijing for the first time ever.

It took pm Shehbaz more than six months to receive an invitation to travel to China. It was unusual because the new prime minister frequently travels to Beijing shortly after taking office.

There were several explanations given for why the visit was delayed. One of the causes was China’s strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocol. Before inviting the prime minister, China is thought to have had reservations about the domestic political climate in Pakistan. According to observers, pm Shehbaz’s visit shows Beijing’s confidence in the current administration to serve out the remaining term.

Examining the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and seeking debt restructuring are on the visit’s agenda. The government is eager to request the Chinese loans’ $6.3 billion rollover. In addition to the roll over, Islamabad may look for additional financial support to bolster its dwindling foreign reserves.

According to a handout provided by the foreign office, a high-level delegation led by Prime Minister Shehbaz will travel to China from November 1–2 along with Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China Li Keqiang invited the prime minister to make the trip.

According to the official handout, this would be the prime minister’s first trip to China since taking office in April 2022 and comes after his meeting with President Xi Jinping in Uzbekistan on September 16, 2022.

Following the historic 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the prime minister will be among the first world leaders to visit China. In defiance of the nation’s Constitution, which previously limited the President’s tenure to two terms, the 20th National Congress approved Xi’s third term as China’s President. After the founding father of the People’s Republic of China, Mao Zedong, President Xi has emerged as the strongest Chinese leader.

According to the statement, the prime minister’s visit continues the frequent exchanges of senior leadership between Pakistan and China.

In addition to meeting with President Xi Jinping, the prime minister will speak with Premier Li Keqiang at the delegation level. The all-weather strategic cooperation partnership will be reviewed, and the two parties will discuss regional and global developments.

With the signing of several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and agreements in a variety of fields, the visit is also anticipated to advance the broad bilateral cooperation agenda and solidify the momentum of CPEC cooperation following the 11th meeting of the CPEC Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) on October 27, 2022.