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Xi postpones Pakistan visit, Sharif blames anti-government protests

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first presidential visit to Pakistan has been postponed amid ongoing political protests in Islamabad. File photo   | Photo Credit: Diego Azubel

Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s first presidential visit to close ally Pakistan was in doubt on Friday amid ongoing political protests in Islamabad.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tweeted on Friday that the visit was postponed and blamed anti-government protestors who have been demanding his resignation. The Chinese President had been scheduled to visit Pakistan in mid-September.

Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said on Thursday that discussions were ongoing about Chinese President’s visit to Pakistan.

“Both sides are closely monitoring the situation in Islamabad. At the moment, I have nothing more to say,” Ms. Aslam said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang sidestepped a question about the postponement, saying the visit hadn’t been formally announced.

“The two sides have maintained close high-level contact. The two sides are in close contact over high-level visits,” Mr. Qin told reporters at a daily briefing.

It would’ve been Mr. Xi’s first to Pakistan since taking office last year. Mr. Sharif said that investment agreements worth $34 billion had been expected to be finalized during Mr. Xi’s stay in Pakistan.

Mr. Xi is scheduled to visit India in late September, also his first there since taking office.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 12:56:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/chinese-president-xi-jinping-cancels-pakistan-visit/article6383130.ece

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