President Mamoon in China on first state visit
19 February, 2014
BEIJING: President Mamnoon Hussain arrived in China on Tuesday evening on a three-day state visit as the guest of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Red carpet was rolled out at the Beijing Capital International Airport to welcome the president and his entourage. The president was greeted at the airport by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Guo Ping Cheng. Ambassador Masood Khalid, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong, senior officials from the Chinese government and diplomats at the Pakistan embassy were also present on the occasion.
President Mamnoon's entourage includes Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, Punjab Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Rana Sanaullah and Special Assistant to Prime Minister/Chairman Board of Investment Mifta Ismail. A contingent of the People's Liberation Army presented the salute to President Mamnoon as he came out of his plane.
Chinese President Xi will formally welcome President Mamnoon Hussain in a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People today. This 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. Pakistan's 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 Deijiang will also meet him. The visit would prove instrumental in further cementing the already 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 Mamnoon Hussain's visit, in a bid to push for new progress in bilateral relations.