Pakistan’s PM Nawaz Sharif met Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday during his first foreign visit since his May election, looking to secure infrastructure projects to tackle a chronic energy crisis and economic malaise.
Since his victory at the polls, Sharif has sought to strengthen economic ties with close ally Beijing as he tries to tackle weak growth, inflation and power cuts of up to 20 hours a day.
His first meetings in the Chinese capital included appointments with leaders from state-owned heavyweights the China Investment Corporation sovereign wealth fund, China Development Bank and China Power Investment Corporation.
Sharif also met Xi at Beijing’s Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, China Central Television reported.
Xi, calling Sharif an old friend of China as well as a good friend, good brother and good partner, said strengthening strategic cooperation with Islamabad was a priority for China’s diplomacy with countries on its periphery, it reported.