FM Bilawal Bhutto arrives in Guangzhou, China on first bilateral visit

BEIJING, May 22 (APP): Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari arrived in Guangzhou, China late Saturday on his first bilateral visit at the invitation of Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

“Landed in Guangzhou, China on my first bilateral visit. Today also marks 71st anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties between Pakistan and China. Looking forward to meeting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi for in-depth discussions on Pakistan-China relations,” he tweeted after arriving in the Southern Chinese city which is also largest city and capital of China’s Guangdong province.

Foreign Minister Bilawal is on a two-day visit to China from Saturday at the invitation of Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the first in-person high-level interaction between the two countries since the establishment of Pakistan’s new government in April.

This is Foreign Minister Bilawal’s first official visit to a foreign country after he took up the post in April, and will realize his wish to make China the first destination of his visit, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told a press conference here.

The foreign minister will hold extensive consultations with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, during which they will review the entire gamut of bilateral relations, with a particular focus on stronger trade and economic cooperation between Pakistan and China.

Fast-tracked progress on the transformational China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of President Xi Jinping’s visionary Belt and Road Initiative, will also feature in the discussions.

The two sides will also have wide-ranging exchange of views on major regional and international issues, the statement reads.
According to the Global Times, the foreign minister’s visit is part of the high-level exchanges between China and Pakistan, which recently also included message of felicitations to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif from Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, and telephonic conversation between the two premiers on May 16, 2022.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Wang Wenbin said that as all weather strategic cooperative partners, it is necessary for China and Pakistan to improve communication and coordination on major issues to deal with changes in the region and risks and challenges.

China hopes to use this visit as an opportunity to carry on with the traditional friendship with Pakistan, consolidate strategic mutual trust, and further deepen the all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership to build a closer China-Pakistan community with a
shared future, said the Chinese spokesperson.