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His Excellency Mr. Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China arrived this morning on a two-day visit to Pakistan. He was received by both the President and the Prime Minister on arrival at Nur Khan Airbase Chaklala.

The Chinese Premier was given a very warm welcome as his plane entered Pakistan air space with a special escort of six JF-17 aircraft of Pakistan Air Force. This thunder aircraft is joint production of Pakistan and China. The Prime Minister was given the highest protocol on arrival with a 21-gun salute and guard of honor with a fly-past by JF-17 thunder formation.

The President hosted a luncheon in honor of visiting dignitary and accompanying delegation at the Aiwan-e-Sadr. It was preceded by the conferment on Premier Li the highest Pakistani Civil Award of Nishan-e-Pakistan. The investiture ceremony was attended by the members of Premier Li’s accompanying delegation, high-level Pakistani dignitaries, leaders of major political parties, Services Chiefs, diplomatic corps and a cross section of Pakistani society.

The investiture ceremony and the luncheon hosted by the President was also attended by President PML (N), Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif.

The two sides held formal talks in the afternoon. The President accompanied by the Prime Minister of Pakistan led Pakistan delegation where the entire gamut of Pakistan – China relations was reviewed focusing on the way forward to accelerate and enhance the ongoing bilateral strategic ties.

A total of 11 agreements were signed between China and Pakistan namely MoU on Maritime Cooperation, Agreement on Boundry Management, Agreement on Border Ports, MoU on Cooperation for Long Term Plan on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation, handing over certificate of Seismograph Network, MoU on Cooperation in Marine Science and Technology, Agreement for Cooperation in field of Satellite Navigation, Agreement on Establishment of Confucious Institute at Karachi University, Annual Blister Purchase Contract, and Greige Fabric Contract.

Separately the visiting Chinese high powered business delegation signed procurement agreements worth 450 million dollars to help Pakistan business to utilize the tremendous potential of China. The agreements were signed between Chinese companies SDIC Trade, CTEC, Sinopharm, Sino Steel Raw Materials, Sino Fiber and Sinochem and Pakistani companies JNTC, Brother Resources, Texchain, Sea Trade, Aideen and UGI.

The Prime Minister hosted a banquet at Serena Hotel in honor of Premier Li which was attended by leading Pakistani dignitaries, diplomatic corps and leaders of main political parties. The leaders of political parties also had a separate interaction with the visiting dignitary prior to the banquet.

Premier Li will have a busy schedule tomorrow which includes an address to the Senate of Pakistan, meeting with President PML(N), Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, joint call by the Services Chiefs and a visit to the Pakistan – China Friendship Center. The visiting dignitary will also plant a tree at Shakarparian.

The visit of Premier Li Keqiang has provided further impetus to the strong all-weather and time tested friendship that the two neighbors, Pakistan and China, have enjoyed over the last many decades.

May 22, 2013

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