At the special invitation of State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will visit China on 21-22 May 2022. This would be Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s first bilateral visit abroad since assuming office last month. His visit coincides with the 71st anniversary of the establishment of China-Pakistan formal diplomatic relations on 21 May 1951. The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and senior officials will be part of the Foreign Minister’s delegation.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has a special background in China, as his grandfather was one of the very popular foreign leaders in China. He was the last foreign dignitary to meet Chairman Mao, before his death. People in China respect Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, and his family very well. His mother Benazir Bhutto was also very popular in China and his father Asif Ali Zardari, the former President of Pakistan is one foreign leader who most frequently visited China. He has been to China and possesses a strong affiliation with China.
Bhutto enjoys immense goodwill and respect in China
During the visit, the Foreign Minister will hold extensive consultations with State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The two leaders will review the entire gamut of bilateral relations, with a particular focus on stronger trade and economic cooperation between Pakistan and China. Fast-tracked progress on the transformational China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a flagship project of President Xi Jinping’s visionary Belt and Road Initiative, will also feature in the discussions. The two sides will also have a wide-ranging exchange of views on major regional and international issues.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s visit will also coincide with the 71st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China.
State Councilor Wang Yi had written a letter of congratulations to Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on his assumption of the office of Foreign Minister. The two Foreign Ministers had previously held a virtual meeting on 11 May 2022.
The Foreign Minister’s visit is part of the high-level exchanges between the two sides, which recently also included a message of felicitations to the Prime Minister from Premier Li Keqiang and a telephone conversation between the two Premiers on 16 May 2022.
The Foreign Minister’s visit will contribute to further fortifying the time-tested All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership between Pakistan and China, enhance and deepen CPEC-related engagement, and help in identifying new avenues for bilateral cooperation to the benefit of the two countries and peoples.
Pak-China relationship in jeopardy?
China and Pakistan both are passing through a difficult time and facing similar challenges from the West. His visit will further cement existing understanding and harmony among the two brotherly states. It will strengthen our cooperation and collaboration in all dimensions. China is the only country, that sincerely assists Pakistan and stood shoulder to shoulder in all critical moments in history. China has always rescued Pakistan in the international community, especially in the UN and its organizations. China has always voted at the UN in favor of Pakistan and protected Pakistan’s vital interests.
Pakistan played a crucial role in bringing the UN seat to China in the 1970s and establishing diplomatic relations with the US. Chinese people value Pakistan’s sincere friendship and always regard Pakistan as a close ally and strategic partner. They use a special terminology for Pakistan that is Ba Tie – “Iron Brother” a very unique, only used for Pakistan.
His visit is expected to be fruitful and bring a far-reaching impact on the whole region.
Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization). (E-mail: email@example.com). The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space