ISLAMABAD: Chinese Vice-prime minister and member of Politburo, the powerful central decision-making body of China, Wang Yang arrived on Sunday to attend Pakistan’s Independence Day celebrations as a special guest.
Wang Yang’s visit is the first by a top Chinese official since President Xi Jinping toured Pakistan in April 2015.
Being member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Wang is one of the four vice premiers in China and is considered among the top political leaders.
A Foreign Office handout said Vice Premier Wang Yang was undertaking the visit to Pakistan on the directions of President Xi Jinping as a special gesture to participate in the 70th Independence Day Celebrations of Pakistan.
“His visit on this important milestone for Pakistan is a reflection of the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between Pakistan and China,” the statement said.
During his visit, the vice premier will attend the flag-hoisting ceremony on 14th August as a special guest, and will also call on President Mamnoon Hussain.
He will hold talks with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and participate in the inauguration ceremony of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects and witness the signing of bilateral MoUs and agreements between the two countries.
“The special visit of Vice Premier Wang underscores the close brotherly and cooperative ties between Islamabad and Beijing and China’s strong political support for Pakistan,” the Foreign Office further said.
His visit comes just days after political transition in Pakistan after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court on hiding his offshore assets.
There have been concerns about the likely negative fallout of CPEC projects.
However, in his first speech soon after being elected as leader of the House, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi highlighted importance of Pakistan’s strategic and economic partnership with China.
He vowed to continue policies of his successor and implement initiatives under the ‘one belt, one road’ programme.
Relations between Pakistan and China have been growing with rapid pace in recent years especially after the two countries signed a CPEC deal.
In March, a contingent of guard of honour of the three services of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) took part in the Pakistan military parade held in Islamabad to mark the Pakistan Day.