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PM Imran Khan meets Chinese President in Beijing

: Prime Minister Imran Khan will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Source: APP.

BEIJING: Prime Minister Imran Khan held a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday (today) before departing from his tour.

In a tweet, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhary Fawad Hussain said Prime Minister Imran Khan and China’s President Xi Jinping’s meeting has ended and he has left for Pakistan.

A day earlier, the prime minister attended a luncheon hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping for world leaders at the Great Hall of People. Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that the premier will meet the Chinese leader on Sunday.

PM Imran Khan held a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang in Beijing on Saturday. In a tweet, Fawad said that Kashmir and Afghanistan were important topics of discussion in both the meetings. He said China has always played an important role as Pakistan’s political, economic and strategic partner.

The premier also held discussions with the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Chinese President Xi Jinping hosted a banquet for heads of state and international organisations attending the Winter Olympics following nearly two years without face-to-face meetings due to the pandemic.

Besides Russian president Vladimir Putin, the banquet guestlist included Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as well as leaders from Europe and Asia Pacific. Dozens of dignitaries were treated to musical performances and traditional handicrafts display alongside the meal at the Great Hall of the People.

Beijing is keen to shore up international support and pull off a Games that will burnish its reputation, despite multiple countries including the United States, Australia, Britain and Canada announcing diplomatic boycotts over China’s rights record.

President Xi has avoided travelling abroad or meeting foreign visitors face-to-face since the start of the pandemic. China has largely closed its borders for the last two years in a zero-Covid strategy that has seen daily infections dwindle.

Heads of international bodies including the World Health Organization’s Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, whom state media said was among the Olympic torchbearers, were also invited. Xi gave a toast at the banquet calling for all present to “work together for a world of durable peace,” according to an official transcript.

Chinese state broadcaster said International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also gave speeches praising China’s management of the Olympics and handling of the pandemic

Xi was photographed greeting Putin on Friday with both men going maskless, even though the Russian leader had skipped the lengthy quarantine normally required in China for people arriving from overseas.

The two signed a joint statement criticising the United States’ global influence and opposing the further expansion of NATO, amid a diplomatic standoff between Moscow and Washington over Ukraine.


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