Rescheduled itinerary: Chinese mission says fresh dates eyed for Xi’s trip

Says embassy was busy with arrangements prior to postponement of visit

Inp /qamar Zaman September 08, 2014


Islamabad and Beijing are working on new dates for President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan, a senior official at China’s diplomatic mission said on Sunday.

Talking to The Express Tribune, the official said the visit, which was reportedly originally scheduled for the middle of this month, was postponed upon mutual agreement between both sides.

“We [China and Pakistan] mutually agreed to postpone President Xi’s visit and are currently working on new dates which should not be far,” he said. His comment contradicted the statement issued by China’s foreign ministry a day earlier and corroborated the Foreign Office’s statement released the same day.

At a news conference on Saturday, the spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry denied the country had officially informed Pakistan about President Xi’s visit. The Pakistani Foreign Office, meanwhile, announced the postponement of the trip was ‘mutually agreed’.

According to the official, the Chinese Embassy had been really busy over the last few weeks with making arrangements for the high-level visit.

“We had been really busy during the last few weeks in making arrangements for the visit of President Xi,” he said, noting that it would be Xi’s first visit to Pakistan since he took office and the first visit by a Chinese president in the last eight years.

When asked about the reasons behind the postponement, the official said the decision was made in light of the current security situation in Pakistan. He expressed hope that relevant parties in Pakistan would work together bearing in mind the fundamental interests of the state and the people.

In response to a question regarding the Chinese foreign ministry’s statement, the official said it pertained only to the official announcement of the visit.

The official also said postponing President XI’s visit has delayed the signing ceremonies of several projects. Both sides, as such, are exploring options to keep the momentum going, he said.

“We are trying to find out ways to get these documents signed so that the momentum is not affected.”

The official said there was a long list of projects up for signing, some of which have already started and some of which, such as the Lahore-Karachi motorway and the economic corridor, have been finalised after discussions. Several others, he added, are currently being discussed.

When asked whether China was offering Pakistan a loan or going for investment, the official said “we have variety of arrangements when it comes to economic cooperation, [all] transparent, fair and mutually beneficial.”

According to the official, President Xi would also be visiting India and Sri Lanka. “But Pakistan and China’s relationship can’t be compared with [our ties with] India.”

“Our [China and Pakistan’s] cooperation goes beyond [development] projects,” he said while referring to both countries’ collaboration on political affairs, global issues and counter-terrorism along with people-to-people contacts. “We have a history of bilaterally relations and a bright future.”

Referring to the four visits to China by Pakistani leadership in the last few months, the official said “no world leader has visited China so frequently.”

Meanwhile, in an informal chat with newsmen on Sunday, a senior Chinese embassy official brushed aside impressions that delaying President Xi’s visit to Pakistan would affect ties between the two countries.

“How can the postponement of a single visit between the two countries their decades old historical strategic partnership?” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th, 2014.



fan | 9 years ago | Reply

@ Pea Brain

Indeed, the Chinese model is there is a big problem. But can't ignore history background:

1, modern China has been the European powers, America and Japan, still exist outside intervention, threat. The Chinese called "delays are dangerous".

Pakistan is also such threats.

2, must have the material base, social development and social development needs a long time or a few generations, breakthroughs in driving the development of social economic development. Pakistan's average life expectancy of about 65 years old, and the development for hundreds of years to reach level today.

Including individual, overall social development, people can go to practice, but the development of society as a whole must scale management.

Pakistan's religious differences, tribes, and government corruption problem difficult to solve. And the Chinese revolution happened in 1949, and spent decades after digestion, high cost.

3, ports, highways, power plants, such as high-speed rail investment scale, construction cycle is long, will be affected by political instability. If the infrastructure is not enough, difficult to introduce other countries. Such as Pakistan's power supply is not enough. In 2014, for example, xinjiang infrastructure spending only needs to be about $120 billion, companies such as input. For Pakistan, these investments needed for decades, accumulative total may be over tens of thousands of dollars, to realize the modernization of Pakistan.

More than 30 years ago, when China began to develop the economy and made a lot of tuition fees,

Conclusion: I'm not god, but Pakistan is China's best friend, we can have some advice, for your reference.

salman | 9 years ago | Reply

@Skeptical: Bro, I don't work in Pakistan, never said I did. I work for the trading arm of an oil company. The deals I am talking about are not investments in Pakistan, rather trade deals with other entities, which carry a full set of contracts per deal.

The point I was trying to make, is that it is possible to get agreements done electronically and without the premier of the two countries getting together for a signing agreement.

And as far as I know, no deals or investments have been cancelled due to postponement (not cancellation) of China premier's visit. And I don't think the Chinese are so fickle that they will start cancelling projects because they couldn't get a photo with Mian sahib! :)

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ