Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang arrived in Islamabad to take part in Pakistan’s 70th Independence Day celebrations on Monday. Wang, the “special guest” for the Independence Day, is accompanied by a high-level delegation on the two-day visit. He was received at Benazir Bhutto International Airport by officials of Pakistan government and Chinese Embassy, Geo News reported. The visit comes on the “directions of (Chinese) President Xi Jinping as a special gesture”, according to Pakistan’s Foreign Office, which described it as a “reflection of the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership” between the two countries.
From Pakistan, Wang will head to Nepal, Chinese foreign ministry announced in Beijing yesterday. The visit to Pakistan and Nepal by the top Chinese official comes as India and China have been locked in a military standoff for nearly two months at Doklam near Sikkim. The face-off began on June 16 after Chinese troops tried to build a road in the disputed area. India has protested the move saying China was unilaterally changing the status quo at the trijunction with India’s ally, Bhutan. As a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Wang is among the top leaders in China.
In Pakistan, he will be the “special guest” to mark the country’s 70th Independence Day, and later call on President Mamnoon Hussain. He will also call on Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, a statement from the foreign office said. He will participate in an inauguration ceremony of projects related to the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.