Chinese PM awarded Nishan-e-Pakistan on arrival in Islamabad

Published: May 22, 2013
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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. PHOTO: AFP

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang was awarded the Nishan-e-Pakistan by President Asif Ali Zardari on his arrival in Islamabad for a two-day trip, reported Express News on Wednesday.

It is Keqiang’s first visit to Pakistan since taking office in March.

The award has been given to other foreign diplomats in the past such as the Prime Minister of Turkey in 2010 and the president of China then, Hu Jintao in 2006.

The JF-17s — a symbol of deep Sino-Pakistan friendship – guided the special Air China Boeing 747 aircraft of the Chinese dignitary to the Nur Khan Air Base.

President Asif Ali Zardari, caretaker prime minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, chief of naval staff, chief of air staff and other cabinet members were present at the airport to welcome the Chinese PM.

The Chinese PM was given a guard of honour on his arrival.

Nawaz Sharif joined the other leaders at the President’s house in Islamabad, where President Zardari and Nawaz Sharif met.

China offers help to end Pakistan’s energy crisis

In an interview with Pakistani media, Li said there was still “great potential” for the relationship. Bilateral trade last year rose above $12 billion for the first time and both sides are aiming to reach $15 billion in the next two or three years.

“Our two sides should focus on carrying out priority projects in connectivity, energy development and power generation and promoting the building of a China-Pakistan economic corridor,” Li said.

The power shortages have sparked violent protests and crippled key industries, costing hundreds of thousands of jobs in Pakistan.

There are several joint energy and infrastructure projects under way in Pakistan and China has taken over operation of the strategically important Gwadar port.

When complete, the port, which is close to the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil shipping lane, is seen opening up an energy and trade corridor from the Gulf, across Pakistan to western China, and could be used by the Chinese Navy, upsetting India.

The visit is a crucial as the two countries plan to discuss trade and investment opportunities. Trade between China and Pakistan hit a 12-month figure of $12 billion for the first time last year, according to Islamabad, up 18 percent on the previous year, and the two sides are committed to raising this to $15 billion in the next two to three years.

Li, on his first overseas tour as premier, will hold talks with President Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister on Wednesday before meeting Sharif on Thursday.

Many important agreements and MoUs in the fields of economy, science and technology, space & upper atmosphere communication and energy will be signed during Li’s visit. “About a dozen agreements are likely to be signed during the visit,” a foreign office official said.

Pakistan has already given China a contract to develop and operate the Gwadar Port, and both countries don’t seem to want to stop there, and will work on deepening their economic and trade ties.

Mobile service resumes

For security reasons, National Crisis Management Cell directed the PTA to suspend mobile services in Islamabad and Rawalpindi till 3pm. However, mobile services have reportedly resumed in different parts of the city and is expected to be functional before the scheduled time.

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Reader Comments (53)

  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    May 22, 2013 - 11:37AM

    doesn’t look too enthusiastic . does he?

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  • bilawel
    May 22, 2013 - 12:13PM

    hurraayy!!! now force them to cancel all dealings with India.

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  • misbah
    May 22, 2013 - 12:29PM

    gotta love china, the closest thing pak has to a friend

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  • Syed A. Mateen
    May 22, 2013 - 12:35PM

    I welcome the Chinese Prime Minister in Pakistan.

    I hope Your Excellency that you will have a comfortable stay in Pakistan.

    Pakistan is your next home and for all Chinese people who are our “all weather friends”.

    Thank you for being with us.

    PAKISTAN-CHINA FRIENDSHIP ZINDABAD

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  • Sane
    May 22, 2013 - 12:42PM

    The Chinese are one of the most opportunistic people. Handing them over the Gwadar Port isn’t gong to help us in any case.
    Alas, such is the fate of the Land of the Pure where we have no self-respect. First, we were America’s lackeys and now it’s China.

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  • humor
    May 22, 2013 - 12:53PM

    @misbah:

    nice one, lol

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  • Naveed Razzaq
    May 22, 2013 - 1:17PM

    We welcome Chinese Premier on our land.

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  • Asif Butt
    May 22, 2013 - 1:30PM

    @Sane:
    Its always easy to say what shouldnt be done , but no one is smart or concerned enough to say what should have been done.

    So its easy for you to say all that.

    What could we have done with the Gwadar port ? And by what time/year would we have arranged the money for its development ?

    People like you just want us to sit hands on hand waiting for miracles to happen.

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  • Imran
    May 22, 2013 - 1:52PM

    @Sane: ok my Indian friend

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  • Polpot
    May 22, 2013 - 1:59PM

    Nishane Pakistan
    ++++++++++++++++
    OK now we have done our part how about China doing its?:)

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  • waseem sarwar
    May 22, 2013 - 2:17PM

    @Sane:
    isn’t that a better thing to have a master who lives besides you. It helps in moral sense. :)

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  • expaki
    May 22, 2013 - 2:23PM

    @Polpot: we have done our part how about China doing its?:) China and Saudi Arabia are doing their part to cement WALLS around to “DEFEND PAKISTAN”-:)

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  • Harbans Singh
    May 22, 2013 - 2:26PM

    Dear
    No one is friend or foe. It is all for business in today’s world. Better business man gets better business.

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  • T
    May 22, 2013 - 2:58PM

    Our Indian friends are bent over backwards to make sure Pakistan does not have any “friends” in this world and that’s the reason for their bitter comments.
    Long Live Pakistan and China.

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  • Vigilant
    May 22, 2013 - 2:58PM

    Accepting that china is Pakistan ever best strategic partner, but Pakistan really needs to review her foreign policy, give opportunity to peace, promote socioeconomic development, industry and try best to stand on her feet , this will more strengthen this friendship and will guarantee prosperity of the region. This is the era of socioeconomic development and we must need to change our attitude towards self-sustainability and equal partnership. We are living in the global village and must understand the role, contribution, partnership and integrity of all countries especially neighboring.

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  • Reddy
    May 22, 2013 - 3:00PM

    Pakistanis run international relations like a highly erotic novel,high on imagination, less on action

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  • Richard
    May 22, 2013 - 3:11PM

    A good relationship between is all about people’s relationship. If you ask any Chinese their view of this relationship: iron brother!

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  • Majeed
    May 22, 2013 - 3:16PM

    Indians are just jealous. They just cant stomach the fact that Pakistan being able to develop good relations with China. For them everything is a zero sum game. They have been trying hard to make China stop cooperating with us. If China invests in Pakistan or provides us civilian nuclear tech they raise heckles even though US gave them in violation of all international norms.

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  • May 22, 2013 - 3:25PM

    If you start handing out awards like candy they become worthless!

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  • Polpot
    May 22, 2013 - 3:58PM

    Can ET pls publish a list of all the trips that Zardari made to China as President?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Pls:) Did thye Chinese award him Nishane China?

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  • Naveen
    May 22, 2013 - 3:58PM

    Kayani wanted to give him NISHAN E HAIDER but due to US pressure settled on current award.

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  • Naveen
    May 22, 2013 - 4:00PM

    @Majeed:
    What is there to be jealous. South Asian Geopolitics demands Pakistan and China to be militarily close just as Global Geopolitics demand US- India to be militarily close but closer India- China relations on Climate talks & reforms in International Financial Institutions. It takes no genius to figure out that Enemy’s enemy is a friend.

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  • Reddy
    May 22, 2013 - 4:15PM

    @Majeed: ” They have been trying hard to make China stop cooperating with us”
    they ate away your industries,not a single job was created in pakistan yet they own entire market share of pakistan’s FMCG,retail,infrastructure….only thing you ever gained from Chinese is your JF17 which china doesn’t even want and you have to pay for every single jet that you make yet Pakistan calls it a joint venture,why would any sane person be jealous about your despondent situation

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  • B
    May 22, 2013 - 4:16PM

    @T:
    India has to do nothing to stop you from having friends. You yourselves are doing it. Grow up and take responsibility.

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  • Aysha
    May 22, 2013 - 4:16PM

    Hope and pray he returns safelyRecommend

  • advice
    May 22, 2013 - 4:16PM

    all they need is Business :)

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  • Insaan
    May 22, 2013 - 4:18PM

    @Syed A. Mateen:
    Pakistan is your next home and for all Chinese people who are our “all weather friends”.
    What does Islam say about Muslims becoming friends with Kafirs (communists)?

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  • expaki
    May 22, 2013 - 4:24PM

    @T: Indian friends are bent over backwards to make sure Pakistan does not have any “friends”

    Janab T Sahib, Pakistan have Saudi Arabia “on her back”with drums of OIL to OIL us..

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  • Milestogo
    May 22, 2013 - 4:55PM

    China and Pakistan will come closer in coming decade as Islam is the fastest growing religion in china.

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  • Zohaib Aslam
    May 22, 2013 - 5:10PM

    @Reddy:
    ROFL!!! . Its true BTW :)

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  • Ammad Malik
    May 22, 2013 - 5:22PM

    @Polpot

    They give Bilawal B.Z. the guard of honour when he visited China during the Olympics. Think about it.

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  • Raj
    May 22, 2013 - 5:31PM

    The Chinese have invested more in Sri Lanka than in Pakistan; they gave all of USD 1.5m as aid after the Pakistani floods crisis; they are unwilling to bail out the Pakistani economy with loans or grants.

    But they do talk a lot of mush about their Pakistani ‘friends’.

    And yet the Pakistanis are all gaga over the Chinese.
    I guess its the sentiment that counts; or its the brainwashing from Pakistani school books.

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  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    May 22, 2013 - 5:32PM

    Award for doing what? It sounds more like a visa on arrival.

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  • Sanam
    May 22, 2013 - 5:33PM

    @Milestogo:
    But they treat muslims especially Uyghirs very badly.

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  • Weirdity
    May 22, 2013 - 6:33PM

    The uyghurs would not like the Islamic republic of Pakistan giving away awards to the Chinese PM. The Islamic republic puts islam away in the attic when its convenient. :-)

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  • kaalchakra
    May 22, 2013 - 6:49PM

    China is a great civilization, a great nation, and a great friend of Islamic Pakistan. Their dealings with the world are based on pincipled stands, not selfishness and not merely to use other nations. Prime Minister Li Keqiang, we enthusiastically welcome you and offer our highest civilian honor to you for your many exceptional good deeds on our behalf. You have earned it, Sir.

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  • Mazher Mehboob
    May 22, 2013 - 6:52PM

    China Pakistan ka dost
    Saudia Pakistan ka dost

    Bass Pakistan apna dost khud nahi hai..

    Firends every nation has thier own intrest.

    dosti is not bad but also try to get on your own feet Nation and try to be independent …grow up . You have all the resources to do that and be in a position to start helping other nations

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  • expaki
    May 22, 2013 - 7:11PM

    @misbah: gotta love china, the closest thing pak has to a friend

    Misbah ! as leader of UMMA, Saudi Arabia is ” colsest thing ” with OIL and Mullahs

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  • expaki
    May 22, 2013 - 7:16PM

    @Sanam: they treat muslims especially Uyghirs very badly

    Sanam Sahiba, very probably THEY doing it now than asking help of American drones.

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  • kumar
    May 22, 2013 - 8:15PM

    china is going to develop rail,air link from gawdar port to china…………..if in the future pakistan want to move away from china then it will be difficult for pak………..

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  • Pakistani Ostrich
    May 22, 2013 - 8:24PM

    “..In an interview with Pakistani media, Li said there was still “great potential” for the relationship. Bilateral trade last year rose above $12 billion for the first time and both sides are aiming to reach $15 billion in the next two or three years…”

    Out of $12billion in bilateral trade, we export less than $2.5 billion to china, the rest, $10.5 billions is china’s ‘export’ to pakistan. We should ask our friend to have 50/50 import/export ratio. In a couple of month we we will be going to the IMF to reschedule the loan/loan-payments or go bankrupt. If the china claims to be a all-weather friend the best thing they can do to help us to get out of the IMF grip, e.g. they can for the next 5yrs loan us $2billion to pay IMF at 0%, after all khakis have given too many ‘strategic’ freebies (e.g. gwadar, gilgit-balti) to china for free or in return of ‘toys for the boys’!
    So far china has been just talking and milking us, its time for them to show some $$$.
    P.S. Even during the great flood and the earth-quake the china wasn’t forth coming in helping us, if one remembers they only gave us $25 million after goading by entire world/USA to helps us more. Whereas satan USA and west has helped in terms of $100s million dollars in humanitarian aid and human capital during this calamity.

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  • Raj - USA
    May 22, 2013 - 8:35PM

    Great day for Pakistan. Red flag replaces green in Gwadar. Now Pakistan’s navy has to lease it from China and require China’s permission to enter Gwadar. Saudis and Gulf Kingdoms are happy as Gwadar is not developed as a commercial port to compete with their interests. Even India should be happy as it would stop the likes of 10 brave men sailing form Karachi to Mumbai.

    Imran Khan wanted to develop Gwadar as a commercial port to compete with Dubai. His dreams will not materialize.

    Had Zardari given Gwadar to any other country, say US, to develop it as a commercial port, he would have been blamed for taking kickbacks. But no one will raise any question as the Army gave Gwadar to China to develop it as a naval base.

    Nowhere in the world you will see the citizens feeling happy at the handover of a vital and major part of their country to anyone else, be it a friend or a foe. Now China owns all the land between Gwadar and Gilgit.

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  • Kashif
    May 22, 2013 - 8:58PM

    I live in the USA and I play table tennis with a lot of Chinese friends. The moment I tell them that I am from Pakistan, I can see the love and affection in their reaction. It is so encouraging to see that the relationship is not just at the government level, it is at the people level and people from the two countries love and respect each other.

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  • np
    May 22, 2013 - 9:23PM

    @kaalchakra: Ah no concerns for the Ulghurs? I thought your heart was hurt whenever any Muslim suffered anywhere in the world (of course except those in Pakistan)

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  • May 22, 2013 - 9:30PM

    “could be used by the Chinese Navy, upsetting India”
    these are mad assumptions,India’s triangular shaped peninsula extending deep into Indian Ocean makes India the natural port of the world which no artificial man made port including Gwader can counter or bypass but yes Gwader can be countered through Gwaders neighbor Chabahar.For your kind information India is concerned but not upset.Upset options lies with those who are out of options or have limited options available with them but India doesn’t fall in either of the category. BTW the author and everyone should talk about Gwader’s economic prospectus but not military prospectus cuz any militarization of Gwader against India will only bring disaster in long term.Recommend

  • Consultant fiber Optic
    May 22, 2013 - 10:09PM

    This is the great event and historic time for Pakistan, transaction of care taker government to newly elected government is matter of days, Pakistan needs rescue to come out in the series of crises, and the visit of Chinese Premier is SoS for Pakistan, China is The of of Friendly and Supportive country to Pakistan, Showing lot of interest in Gawadar to Khunjrab Connectivity, offered the Railway Track assistance, Road re building, Fiber Optic connectivity Between china and Pakistan through KKH, Safe City project, Diamir Dam, Neelam Hydle project and so on, Although these project are after getting assistance from China awarding to Chinese companies as condition,

    I am very much welcome to Chinese PM and the delegation arrived to Pakistan and Pak China friend ship Baly Baly

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  • Babloo
    May 22, 2013 - 10:46PM

    It would have been better if the Chinese PM was appointed PM and President of Pakistan upon his arrival .

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  • Nero
    May 22, 2013 - 11:26PM

    @ Kashif: This is with all due respect to you and your Chinese friends. I have several Pakistani friends and we enjoy holidays/food/sports together. We are friends because we like and respect each other. But, inter-personal friendship is different from relationship between countries. Countries become “friends” or “foes” because of economic, political and strategic interests of the elite, which change over time. Pakistan should look for partnerships instead of benefactors.

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  • Polpot
    May 22, 2013 - 11:32PM

    @Reddy: “Pakistanis run international relations like a highly erotic novel,high on imagination, less on action”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    If a movie is made then pls employ Veena Malik:)

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  • Gp65
    May 23, 2013 - 12:02AM

    @Ammad Malik: Can you please provide a reference to your claim that they provided Bilawal a guard of honour during Beijing Olympics?

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  • Ammad Malik
    May 23, 2013 - 1:27AM

    @ Gp65

    My apologies, while looking for the reference I realized he was given ‘head of state’ protocol. The invitation to Bilawal was from the communist party.

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  • from Odisha India
    May 23, 2013 - 4:18AM

    The US invested $7.7 billion in Pakistan (mostly low interest aid) while only $0.8 came from ‘all-weather-ally’ China. Even tiny Netherlands gives almost twice as much as China, and again, mostly as economic aid. China gives African nations much more than it does to Pakistan, which is a pittance, even by impoverished Pakistani standards! Gwadar port is of much strategic importance to China (access to the Indian ocean) and China has obtained huge non-competitive contracts from Pakistan. (Just imagine the huge uproar if ‘Great-Satan’ US been involved in the construction work at Gwadar port!).

    In spite of Pakistanis bending over backward to ‘all-weather-ally’ China’, Li Keqiang visited India before Pakistan, and spend over 3 days in India, sparing only 2 in Pakistan! Frankly, Pakistan has hardly any global friends and of little economic value to anyone.

    But then, what’s the harm in dreaming, right?Recommend

  • Visibly Invisible
    May 23, 2013 - 8:11AM

    Premier Li’s first international visit was to India not Pakistan… sure does shows China’s priority. For all those praising Pak Cheen Dosti, ask any Chinese what he/she knows about Pakistan and you will be up for rude awakening.

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