COAS reaches China with PM on the way


From Mahnoor Makhdoom
BEIJING: Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday reached here on an official visit, while Prime Minister Imran Khan is on the way to reach here today.
In a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor said that the COAS will meet Chinese military leadership including PLA Army Commander, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission & Commander Southern Theater Command. General Qamar Javed Bajwa will also join the Prime Minister in meetings with Chinese Prime Minister and President.
According to reports, Prime Minister Imran Khan departed for China on Monday on a two-day official visit in order to discuss issues of regional and bilateral importance with the Chinese leadership.
According to his schedule, announced by Pakistan’s ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Premier will hold separate meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang wherein he will discuss the expansion of projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and cooperation in the agriculture, industrial and socio-economic sectors.
Prime Minister Imran’s visit to China acquires significance as it comes days ahead of President Xi’s planned high-profile visit to India to take part in the 2nd informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi next week.The Prime Minister is also expected to address the Pak-China Business Forum in Beijing and to meet with Chinese entrepreneurs as well as the heads of different companies.
This is the premier’s third visit to China in less than a year.
In April, he visited Beijing to attend the second Belt and Road Forum and for talks with the Chinese leadership on the expanded CPEC. His first official visit had come in November last year.
Chinese PM Li Keqiang will separately host banquets in honour of the Prime Minister. A number of agreements and MoUs are expected to be signed at a ceremony to be witnessed by the two prime ministers.
PM Imran Khan will be accompanied by a high-level delegation including the Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Khusro Bakhtiyar, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razzaq Dawood, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman Zubair Gilani and senior officials.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa will join the Prime Minister’s meetings with Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping.
The visit of the prime minister is in continuation of the long-established tradition of the leadership of the two countries meeting regularly and consulting closely on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Imran Khan will exchange views on regional developments including the state of peace and security in South Asia arising from the situation in occupied Jammu & Kashmir since 5 August 2019.
The visit will be instrumental in further cementing Pakistan s economic, investment and strategic ties with China.
Among other things, the Prime Minister will apprise the Chinese leadership of the government s recent landmark decisions to speed-up implementation of ongoing CPEC projects as well as efforts to project CPEC as a High-Quality Demonstration Project of BRI.