CPEC, Kashmir on Khan’s Agenda in China


  • The Pakistani leadership’s visit comes just before the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India.
  • Prime Minister Khan will sign several agreements and drafts of economic cooperation.
  • Analysts say that the visit, just before Xi’s visit to India, will have an impact on his talks with Modi.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Beijing on a visit to China. It is his third visit to the country since becoming Prime Minister. Hours before reaching the capital of China, a spokesman for the Pakistani military tweeted that Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa has reached a meeting with the Chinese military leadership. In the tweet, it was written that Bajwa will also attend the meeting of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang with Imran Khan.

China–Pakistan relations began in 1951 when Pakistan was among the first countries to end official diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (on Taiwan) and recognize the People’s Republic of China (PRC) regime on Mainland China. Since then, both countries have placed considerable importance on the maintenance of an extremely close and supportive special relationship.

The Pakistani leadership’s visit comes just before the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India. It also comes two months into Indian restrictions in Kashmir, so analysts are very interested in this strategic visit by Khan. Speaking to reporters, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the second phase of the economic cooperation between the two countries, especially on the economic corridor between China and Pakistan, is the biggest agenda of this visit.

He also said that China and Pakistan cooperate on all other issues, global and bilateral, so the visit should be seen as part of an ongoing process. “Before going to India, President Xi Jinping wants to consult with Pakistan, he wants to be fully aware of Pakistan’s point of view.” The Foreign Minister of Pakistan believes that there can be time spent on such issues so that President Xi has a thorough knowledge of the situation in Pakistan before going to India. His reference was to refresh the political atmosphere and military skirmishes since the termination of Articles 370 and 35A in Kashmir.

According to the details of this visit, released from Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry, Prime Minister Khan will sign several agreements and drafts of economic cooperation. According to the official statement, Khan will exchange views on regional development including the situation related to the issue of peace and security in Indian-administered Kashmir.

The China–Pakistan Economic Corridor is a collection of infrastructure projects that are currently under construction throughout Pakistan. CPEC is intended to rapidly modernize Pakistani infrastructure and strengthen its economy by the construction of modern transportation networks, numerous energy projects, and special economic zones.

Analysts say that the visit of Imran Khan and General Bajwa just before Xi’s visit to India will have an impact on his talks with Modi, but Pakistan will not be able to achieve anything in reality. Xi Jinping’s support will be limited only to statements, he will give priority to his country’s strategy, and will keep his country interest at the forefront in India’s tour. China is not happy with the actions being taken in this disputed region either. To some extent, Pakistan too does not expect anything more from it and knows how important it is in diplomatic appearances.

How important is economic cooperation with China for Pakistan’s ailing economy? Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry has said that Prime Minister Khan will meet senior representatives of the Chinese trade and corporate sector to further strengthen bilateral trade, commercial and investment partnerships. Also, Prime Minister Khan will apprise the Chinese leadership about the government’s recent historic decisions to speed up the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.



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