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Sharif leaves for China on maiden visit after assuming office

world Updated: Jul 03, 2013 13:26 IST

Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif today left for China on a five-day visit, during which he will hold wide ranging talks with the Chinese leadership, aimed at further strengthening their 'all-weather' ties.

On his maiden foreign tour after assuming office, Sharif is accompanied by a 11-member high-level delegation that include senior ministers, Punjab and Balochistan chief ministers and top officials.

During his stay in China, he will meet Chinese president Xi Jinping, premier Li Keiqiang and other senior leaders.

"Focus of the visit will be expanding economic and trade ties besides strengthening partnership and finalising a trade corridor between the two countries. MOUs will also be signed to promote cooperation in various fields particularly the energy sector," Radio Pakistan said.

Earlier, it was reported that Sharif will seek Chinese assistance, to start work on building a 1,100 MW nuclear power plant, to help the country tackle its energy crisis.

Radio Pakistan also said that both the countries will finalise a comprehensive strategy to speed up infra structure development in Pakistan, particularly in Balochistan, including rail and road link from Gwadar to Kashghar in China.

His visit comes weeks after Chinese premier Li visited Islamabad and invited Sharif to undertake the tour.

Sharif will brief the Chinese leadership on the recent visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron to Islamabad besides discussing Pak-India relations.

He will also discuss the regional situation in Afghanistan and security issues.

The prime minister will also hold meetings with business and industrial leaders of China, to persuade them to invest in Pakistan particularly in energy sector.

The visit was initially reported to be of four days starting from Thursday.