Nawaz gets warm welcome in China


China is likely to assist in construction of nuclear power plant
Official says Nawaz will seek investment in power and transport sectors


Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was accorded a warm welcome on his arrival at Beijing International Airport on Wednesday.
At the airport, two children attired in traditional dress presented bouquets to Nawaz and Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.
Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Zhai Jun received the PM and his entourage. Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Masood Khalid and senior diplomats of embassy and officials from Chinese government were also present.
A smartly dressed contingent of the three services of People’s Liberation Army presented salute to Nawaz.
Nawaz is accompanied by Kulsoom Nawaz, Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Adviser to PM on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Malik.
The PM is under taking a 5-day visit at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiaang.
China is likely to give the nod to vital assistance to Pakistan for the construction of a nuclear power plant and setting up of an oil refinery at the Gwadar Port during the five-day visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that began on Wednesday.
The Chinese authorities are also likely to agree on releasing loan around $450 million for the Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project during the visit.
The diplomatic sources said China was likely to extend its assistance to Pakistan for the construction of 1,100MW nuclear plant.
Islamabad and Beijing have the old history of cooperation in the field of civilian nuclear energy and it was with the help of China that Pakistan built two nuclear power plants called Chashma-I and Chashma-II each having the capacity of 300MW near Mianwali.
According to media reports, two more plants called Chashma-III and Chashma-IV with the capacity of 340MW each will be set up by 2016.
“China’s valuable assistance to Pakistan in civilian nuclear energy will go a long way in resolving the serious energy problems that the country is currently facing,” said a source.
A Pakistani official said that in the visit Nawaz would seek investment in the vital sectors of power and transport.
“Moreover, Nawaz Sharif would also talk to the Chinese leaders on trade and economic corridor between the two countries,” he said.
“Both countries have already signed a memorandum of understanding on road-and-rail link between Gwadar and western China and talks in Beijing would be focused on the implementation part of this important project,” the official said.
A diplomatic source said the Chinese leadership would also discuss in detail the killing of Chinese and other foreign tourists in Gilgit Baltistan (GB) last month.
“Nawaz would offer his condolences over the unfortunate GB incident and would also assure the Chinese leaders of all possible action against the perpetrators of this heinous crime,” he said.
He said that the PM and Chinese leadership would also deliberate on different regional and global issues including the latest situation in Afghanistan with their focus on the Afghan reconciliation process.