PM Gilani arrives in China on 4-day official visit

SHANGHAI: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani arrived here Tuesday on first leg of his four-day official visit to China, to discuss with the Chinese leadership ways to strengthen bilateral ties.The Prime Minister was received by Vice Mayor Shanghai Shahai Lin at the Shanghai Hongquao International Airport.Pakistan’s ambassador to China Masood Khan, Chinese ambassador in Pakistan Liu Jian and officials of Chinese government were present.The Prime Minister was accompanied by Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar and Law Minister Senator Maula Bux Chandio.Gilani’s visit is in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China and to celebrate the Year of Friendship as designated by the leaders of two countries. He is in Shanghai to inaugurate the first International Cultural Forum and will move to Beijing on Wednesday to meet the Chinese leadership.

China’s ambassador Liu Jian told APP that Prime Minister Gilani’s visit was very important in connection with the 60th anniversary of Pak-China diplomatic relations.“This is a very important visit as the two leaders will make this occasion special by holding in-depth talks to promote the relationship,” he said.Liu Jian said Pakistan and China will talk on various important topics to “make the strategic partnership more productive and extensive”.  Earlier Ambassador Masood Khan in an exclusive interview with APP said during Prime Minister Gilani’s visit, Pakistan and China will ink accords in the areas of economy, technology and defence.The Ambassador said Prime Minister Gilani’s visit starting Tuesday is important both “symbolically and substantially” with the two countries arriving at a number of important pacts.Ambassador Masood Khan said a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed between China Banking Regulatory Authority and State Bank of Pakistan.He said Pakistan and China will sign an Agreement in economic and technical cooperation, while the specific areas will be further worked upon.He said the two governments will sign an agreement on extending the Saindak gold and copper mining project upto year 2017.

He said the two countries are also expected to work out a pact in defence-related area.
He said both Prime Minister Gilani and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will witness the signing of accords in Beijing.The ambassador said the Prime Minister’s visit would follow a four-tier agenda with the dimensions including political, cultural, economic, science and technology.He said Prime Minister Gilani has been especially invited to inaugurate the mega event of International Cultural Forum in Shanghai, in connection with the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Pak-China diplomatic relations.He said the Forum is aimed at promoting harmony among the nations besides striving for common development.Masood Khan said the Pakistani leadership had the honour of especially attending the Chinese prominent events in the past as well on the invitation of China’s leadership.

He mentioned in this regard Prime Minister Gilani attending the Olympic Games who along with Pakistan Peoples Party’s chairperson Bilawal Zardari Bhutto also attended the Asian Games in Beijing. He also mentioned President Asif Ali Zardari who attended the Boao Forum in 2009 and the Shanghai Expo.The ambassador said in Beijing, the Prime Minister will hold meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.  He will interact with the leading Chinese entrepreneurs besides addressing the students at China’s prestigious Peking University.Masood Khan said Prime Minister Gilani will also visit China Academy of Space Technology and the site of China Great Wall Industry Corporation where PAKSAT-1R is being manufactured to be launched on Pakistan’s independence day on August 14 this year. – APP