Islamabad: Chinese premier Wen Jiabao has arrived in Pakistan from India on three-day visit for talks on key issues, especially the enhancement of economic ties.
Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and members of his cabinet welcomed Wen on his arrival at a military airbase near Islamabad. The Chinese delegation’s aircraft was escorted into Pakistani airspace by two JF-17 combat jets that were jointly developed by Pakistan and China.
Wen is due to hold bilateral talks with Gilani later today, at which he will have to make an important call concerning China’s relationship with India. Islamabad is expected to offer the proposed $1.1 billion Kohala hydro power project in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to a Chinese company.
Reports that Pakistan and China plan to sign a raft of strategic and commercial agreements over the weekend. In advance of the visit, Pakistan has declared 2011 the â€œYear of Pakistan-China Friendship,â€ and local officials are waxing lyrical about their â€œall-weather friend.â€
The recent WikiLeaks disclosures indicated Pakistan was little short on friends of late: The U.S. called Pakistanâ€™s government weak and corrupt; Saudi King Abdullah described akistan President Asif Ali Zardari as a â€œrotten headâ€ and an impediment to the countryâ€™s progress; and there were concerns expressed in diplomatic cables by the British government and Russia over Pakistanâ€™s ability to secure its nuclear arsenal were to be expected.
And last week both French President Nicolas Sarkozy and a German official criticized Pakistan for not doing enough to combat terrorism.
Talks at the prime minister’s house are to be followed by the signing of some 20 agreements and memorandums of understandings for cooperation in areas like economy, energy and communications.
A delegation of 250 businessmen is accompanying Wen, who travelled to Islamabad after a three-day visit to India, where according to Reports, the Chinese leader was unable to reassure New Delhi that Beijing really has friendship on its mind.