Chinese President receives rousing welcome upon his arrival
Eight JF-17 aircraft escorted the plane of the Chinese President when he entered the Pakistan airspace. A red carpet was rolled out for Xi Jinping.
Chinese president was received by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, President Mamnoon Hussain and three services chiefs upon his arrival at Nur Khan Airbase.
A 21-gun salute was given to the dignitary at Nur Khan Airbase Rawalpindi.
The Chinese President is accompanied by first lady Madam Peng Liyuan, senior ministers, high-level functionaries of the Communist Party and senior government officials.
Chief Executive Officers from a wide spectrum of business houses of China are also accompanying the President.
President Xi Jinping will meet President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif separately.
President Mamnoon Hussain will host a luncheon reception for the dignitary besides holding a meeting.
The Chinese President and the Prime Minister will hold delegation level official talks. He will also address a joint sitting of the Parliament tomorrow morning.
President Xi Jinping will be conferred the country’s highest civil award, the `Nishan-e-Pakistan’ at a special investiture ceremony at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.
Why visit is significant for Pakistan?
On his 2-day visit to Pakistan, Chinese President Xi Jinping will unveil a $46 billion investment plan.
With the plan, known as the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – that foresees the creation of road, rail and pipeline links that will cut several thousand kilometers off the route to transport oil from the Middle East to China, while bypassing mutual rival India – Beijing hopes to increase investment in Pakistan as part of its ambitions to expand its trade and transport footprint across Central and South Asia, while countering US and Indian influence.
The upgrade will stretch 3,000 kilometers (1,860 miles) from the Pakistani port of Gwadar on the Arabian Sea to China’s western city of Kashgar.
The two countries are also set to cooperate in gas, coal and solar energy projects to provide 16,400 megawatts of electricity — roughly equivalent to the country’s entire current capacity.
Beyond economic matters, questions of regional security will be high on the list during discussions between Pakistan and China.
China is wary of the infiltration of militant Islamists from Pakistan to its western Xinjiang province which is frequently hit by unrest, and may be looking from greater assurances from Islamabad on the matter.
In February China expressed willingness to support the Afghan government in reconciling with the Taliban, another issue that could be discussed.