HomeNewsDiplomatic NewsPrime Minister Sharif Visits Xi’an for Agricultural Cooperation

Prime Minister Sharif Visits Xi’an for Agricultural Cooperation


Islamabad, 9 June 2024(TDI): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has arrived in the Chinese city of Xi’an in the third leg of his five-day visit to China, to explore new avenues to benefit from China’s agricultural prowess and “modernization.”

Since the 1980s, Xi’an has matured into an agricultural, industrial, and educational hub as part of the economic growth of inland China.

The city ranks among the top cities for scientific research and is home to multiple prestigious educational institutions.

The Pakistani prime minister arrived on a five-day visit to China this week to upgrade the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), pledging over $60 billion in the South Asian country.

Chen Chunjiang, vice-governor of the Shaanxi province, and senior diplomatic staff of both countries warmly welcomed Prime Minister Shehbaz in Xi’an.

“Looking forward to learning about China’s agricultural modernization and innovation from the world-class facilities of this great city,” the prime minister said.

“Keen to explore new avenues of cooperation and further deepen our linkages in agriculture to enhance Pakistan’s food productivity and quality.”

Prime Minister Sharif and his delegation visited the Terracotta Warriors Museum in Xi’an. They were briefed on the preservation and restoration of China’s historical heritage and the promotion of tourism.

He visited various parts of the museum and appreciated the beauty of the ancient Chinese heritage and craftsmanship.

“Great nations like China protect their historical heritage,” Sharif said. “The skill of Chinese craftsmen from 200BC is admirable.”

During his visit to Xi’an, Sharif will meet the top leadership of the province and tour the Yangling Institute of Modern Agriculture, his office said.

On Friday, Sharif held a meeting with President Xi Jinping and discussed with him tapping Pakistan’s potential as a regional hub of trade and connectivity.

“Had the honor of meeting President Xi Jinping at the iconic Great Hall of People in Beijing,” the prime minister said.

“We discussed various dimensions of the multi-faceted Pakistan-China relationship and reaffirmed our longstanding and steadfast friendship, All-Weather Strategic cooperation, economic and trade ties, and CPEC.”

Earlier in the day, Sharif held delegation-level talks with China’s Premier Li Qiang to discuss CPEC’s development and timely completion of all ongoing projects.

“The two leaders expressed continued commitment and support for the high-quality development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and timely completion of all ongoing projects,” the Pakistani foreign office said.

“The two sides also expressed their firm commitment to protect CPEC from its detractors and adversaries.”

Since its initiation in 2013, CPEC has seen tens of billions of dollars funneled into massive transport, energy, and infrastructure projects in Pakistan.

Islamabad is struggling to keep up with its financial obligations as well as attacks on Chinese targets by militants have hit the undertaking.

Most recently, a suicide bombing on March 26 killed five Chinese engineers who were working on a dam in northwest Pakistan.

In the meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Sharif reaffirmed Pakistan’s unflinching resolve to ensure the safety and security of Chinese personnel and projects in Pakistan.

The ceremony following the delegation-level talks included the signing of 23 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) and agreements to deepen cooperation between the two countries in various sectors such as transport, infrastructure, industry, energy, agriculture, media, health, water, socio-economic development, and other mutual areas of interest.

Since he arrived in China, the prime minister has held several meetings with Chinese investors and businessmen to discuss and explore investment opportunities in Pakistan.

Also read: Prime Minister Shehbaz meets Party Secretary of Shaanxi province

In these meetings and events, including the Business Conference in Shenzhen, the prime minister encouraged Chinese companies to invest in Pakistan and develop joint ventures.

Officials of around 79 Pakistani companies also joined the southeastern Chinese city of Shenzhen to attend the business forum.

Both sides signed agreements in vital sectors including economy, green energy, textiles, and manufacturing.

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