Chinese President Xi Jinping today said his first trip to Pakistan is like visiting the home of his “own brother” as he vowed to firm up China’s strategic ties with its all-weather friend by making progress on various fronts, including the USD 46 billion bilateral economic corridor.
“This will be my first trip to Pakistan, but I feel as if I am going to visit the home of my own brother,” Xi said in an article for the Pakistani media ahead of his visit.
“I look forward to working with Pakistani leaders during the visit to explore the general framework for bilateral cooperation, make substantial progress in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and practical cooperation in other fields and push for the furtherance of bilateral ties at a higher level,” he said in the signed article carried by the state-run Xinhua news agency.
Pakistan is the first stop of Xi’s first overseas trip this year.
The Chinese president is to visit the country tomorrow and Tuesday before attending the Bandung Conference in Indonesia.
During his visit, Xi will meet with his Pakistani counterpart Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other Pakistani leaders for in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and discuss issues of common interest.
He is expected to unveil a host of projects under the corridor linking China’s Xinjiang province with Gwadar port through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
China and Pakistan need to align development strategies more closely to realise the dreams of the two peoples, he said.
“We need to enhance strategic coordination, deepen practical cooperation and work together for common development. We will build the China-Pakistan community of common destiny and set a fine example for such efforts by China and its neighbouring countries,” Xi said.
The two countries need to align economic and trade strategies more closely to deepen economic integration, said the ruling Communist Party General Secretary.
He gave particular importance to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is located where the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road meet.
“We need to form a ‘1+4’ cooperation structure with the Economic Corridor at the center and the Gwardar Port, energy, infrastructure and industrial cooperation being the four key areas to drive development across Pakistan and deliver tangible benefits to its people,” he said.
In the article, he also highlighted the need to boost security cooperation, intensify people-to-people and cultural exchanges and coordinate diplomatic strategies between the two countries.