FM Bilawal Bhutto kicks out maiden China visit

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Federal Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari is on a two-day official visit to China today at the invitation of State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi, the Foreign Office confirmed on Friday.

Bilawal’s trip will be his first bilateral visit abroad since taking office last month.

According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar and senior officials have accompanied him. During the visit, Bilawal will hold wide-ranging consultations with the State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi.

“The two leaders will review the entire gamut of bilateral relations, with a particular focus on stronger trade and economic cooperation between Pakistan and China,” the FO said.

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Rapid progress on the China-Pakistan Transformational Economic Corridor and the landmark project of President Xi Jinping’s visionary Belt and Road initiative will also be discussed. Both sides will also have wide-ranging discussions on major regional and international issues. “The visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs Bilawal will also coincide with the 71st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China,” the statement said.

The State Councilor Wang Yi had written a congratulatory letter to Bilawal for taking charge of FM’s office. The two foreign ministers had already held a virtual session on May 11.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs’ visit is part of the high-level discussions between the two sides, which recently included a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif from his counterpart Li Keqiang and a telephone discussion between the two prime ministers on 16 May.

“The visit by the Minister of Foreign Affairs will help strengthen the successful Pakistan-China All-Time Strategic Partnership and strengthen and deepen the commitment of the CPEC, and help to identify new avenues for bilateral cooperation for the benefit of both countries and peoples,’ the FO said.

 

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