Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will begin a visit to China today. This trip is Sharif’s first visit to China.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will begin a visit to China today.
This trip is Sharif’s first visit to China. During it he’ll meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who recently as the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party. Sharif will also meet outgoing Premier Li Keqiang.
The visit is at further cementing Sino-Pak strategic relations, and enhancing business and trade with China. This is primarily through China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and the – which connects China to the Pakistani port of Gwadar, thereby giving Chinese vessels direct access to the Arabian Sea. Sharif will also discuss the relaxation of payments to China, especially in light of the in Pakistan, whose economic toll has left the country cash-strapped.
Expect that there will be a deal signed in the near future allowing for greater Chinese access to Gwadar and other Pakistani ports, in order for China to establish a presence in the Arabian Sea and compete with Indian interests in the area. Expect also that this visit will result in a deal for relaxation of Pakistani debt owed to China, in exchange for trade concessions.