BEIJING: President Mamnoon Hussain arrived here Tuesday evening on a three-day state visit as the guest of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
At the Beijing Capital International Airport, red carpet was rolled out to welcome the distinguished guest and his entourage.
President Mamnoon was greeted at the airport by Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Guo Ping Cheng. A small Chinese girl presented a bouquet to him.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Masood Khalid, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong, and senior Chinese government and Pakistan Embassy officials were also present on the occasion.
The President’s entourage included Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, Punjab Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Rana Sanaullah and Special Assistant to Prime Minister/Chairman Board of Investment Mifta Ismail.
A contingent of People’s Liberation Army presented the salute to President Mamnoon Hussain, as he came out from his plane.
Chinese President Xi will formally welcome President Mamnoon Hussain in a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People on Wednesday.
It will be followed by bilateral talks between the two leaders and signing of various agreements.
President Xi will also host a banquet for his Pakistani counterpart and the delegation.
Ambassador Masood Khalid said that this was President Mamnoon Hussain’s first state visit since he took office last year, and he was also the first foreign head of state, received by China since the country’s Spring Festival.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and top legislator Zhang Deijiang will also meet him.
The visit would prove instrumental in further cementing the already close and cordial ties between Pakistan and China, said Ambassador Khalid, adding that the two countries highly valued their time-tested friendship.
Chinese Foreign Office Spokeswomen Hua Chunying in a briefing termed the development of friendship and cooperation with Pakistan a high priority in China’s diplomacy.
She said China was ready to work with Pakistan to ensure the success of President Mamnoon Hussain’s visit, in a bid to push for new progress in bilateral relations.