Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif will also hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today left for Beijing to attend a two-day conference on the controversial Belt and Road initiative, a part of which passes through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The Belt and Road (B&R) Forum for International Cooperation, likely to be attended by 28 world leaders, begins on Sunday and Beijing aims to project the summit as a global acceptance of its initiative.
The B&R initiative aims to connect China to Eurasia through a maze of road, rail and port projects. Radio Pakistan reported that several agreements are expected to be signed in connection with the $46-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during Mr Sharif's visit. The CPEC is a part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road initiative.
India has raised strong objection to the CPEC, and the Belt and Road initiative, as it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. While India is yet to confirm its participation in the Forum, US and other western countries have either skipped the summit or deputed officials to attend it.
The Pakistan prime minister is accompanied by a high-level delegation, which includes his adviser on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz.
Mr Sharif will attend the inaugural session of the summit and the plenary meeting of the high-level dialogue and the state banquet. He will also attend the leaders' roundtable sessions on second day of the forum and hold meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.