Islamabad, February 18, 2014 (PPI-OT): President Mamnoon Hussain arrived Beijing on a 3-day state visit as the guest of Chinese President Xi Jinping. At the Beijing Capital International Airport, a red carpet was rolled-out to welcome the distinguished guest and his entourage.
The President was greeted at the airport by Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Guo Ping Cheng. A small Chinese girl presented bouquet. Ambassador Masood Khalid, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong, senior officials from Chinese government and diplomats at Pakistan Embassy were also present on the occasion.
The President entourage included Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Minister for Planning, development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to Prime Minister/Chairman Board of Investment Mifta Ismail and Punjab Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Rana Sanaullah. A contingent of People’s Liberation Army presented salute to President Mamnoon Hussain, as he came out from his plane.
“Chinese President Xi will formally welcome President Mamnoon Hussain at a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People. It will be followed by bilateral talks between the two leaders and signing of various agreements. President Xi will also host a banquet for the President and members of his delegation,” said Ambassador Masood Khalid.
Ambassador Masood Khalid said that this is President Mamnoon Hussain’s first state visit since he took office last year, and he is also the first foreign head of state received by China since the country’s Spring Festival. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and top legislator Zhang Beijing will also meet him.
The visit would prove instrumental in further cementing the already existing close and cordial cooperation between Pakistan and China, said Ambassador Khalid, adding that two countries highly value its time tested friendship.
Chinese Foreign Office Spokeswomen Hua Chunying in a briefing termed the development of friendship and cooperation with Pakistan a high priority in China’s diplomacy. She said that China is ready to work with Pakistan to ensure the success of President’s visit, in a bid to push for new progress in bilateral relations.
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