Imran Khan likely to make his first official visit to China next month

Imran Khan  

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is likely to make his first official trip to China next month, his foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said.

The $50-billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a game changer for Pakistan and had taken off, the minister said.

Pakistan wanted an early completion of these projects and was in talks with China on how to focus on areas that were important to the new government, he said.

“Hopefully next month in November the Prime Minister would be making his first official visit to China to discuss this further,” Mr. Qureshi told an audience in Washington when asked about reports of changes in the ambitious CPEC projects.

“Obviously, infrastructure is required. We need roads and rail links, optic fibers and everything of that sort. We want them to help us in areas like industrial development, enhancing agriculture productivity, helping us alleviate poverty in the country,” he said to a question at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

The Khan government was talking about how to improve lives and livelihoods, how labour-intensive industry could be relocated into Pakistan and give jobs. “So that is an ongoing discussion and hopefully next month in November, the Prime Minister would be taking his first official visit to China to discuss this further,” he said.

On ties with U.S.

When asked about the increasing relationship between Pakistan and China, Mr. Qureshi said this was not at the cost of the ties with the U.S..

“The U.S. was, is and will remain an important global player. You are a technological, economic and military power. We recognise that. There’s a history of our relationship. Let’s not forget that,” he said.

Currently, there were challenges in the U.S.-Chinese relationship, he said. Mr. Qureshi argued that Beijing could play an important constructive role with regard to Afghanistan and peace in the region.

“I am of the view and Pakistan is of the view that China can play a constructive role and China must be engaged. China has initiated a trilateral meeting.. they had one in Beijing and next month in December we might have the second round in Kabul,” he said.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 11:44:52 AM |

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