China on Pakistan visit to boost ties
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan, grappling with an Islamic insurgency and massive poverty, was hoping for an economic boost as Chinese premier Wen Jiabao made a rare visit yesterday aimed at expanding trade ties and a flow of Chinese investment.
Wen’s trip – the first by a Chinese premier in five years – is also an opportunity for Islamabad to showcase its relationship with an ally it sees as offering consistent, no-strings-attached support.
Pakistan’s top civilian and military leaders, and nearly its full cabinet, were on hand to greet Wen and his hundreds-strong delegation on arrival.
Wen is expected to meet Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and sign business deals worth billions of dollars during his stay.
As much as Wen’s visit will be about investment and bilateral trade, it will also be used to reaffirm the countries’ so-called “all-weather” friendship that has endured and even flourished despite Beijing’s improved ties with New Delhi.
China is Pakistan’s closest friend in the region, giving Islamabad military aid and technical assistance, including nuclear technology. – Sapa-AP