China`s Xi to visit India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to visit India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the coming weeks and his programme is being coordinated with the governments of the three countries.
While Chinese officials maintain that dates are being finalised, Pakistan daily Dawn today reported that Xi will be visiting the country later this month to lay foundation stone for some mega projects.
However officials say that it could be some time next month as dates are being worked out in coordination with the three countries.
It may be that Xi will travel to Pakistan, go to India and later Sri Lanka, according to indications.
In the recent past, Chinese leaders, including Premier Li Keqiang last year visited India first before travelling to Pakistan, a close ally of China.
This will be Xi`s first visit to the subcontinent after taking over as president.
Li visited New Delhi last year making it his first destination abroad after taking over office to show the importance the new Chinese leadership attached to ties with India.
Xi`s visit to New Delhi figured prominently in the Chinese President`s first meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the BRICS summit in Brazil last month.
Xi will be the first Chinese President to visit Sri Lanka, which in recent years has become a significant ally for Beijing in the Indian Ocean region specially in the backdrop of China`s plans to build a `Maritime Silk Road` for which it has also invited India to take part.
The Dawn report quoted Foreign Ministry officials as saying that during his visit to Pakistan, Xi would lay the foundation stone of the Lahore-Karachi motorway section and a couple of power generation projects.
During Xi`s visit officials of the two countries would also give final touches to the proposed Pakistan-China railway link.
The countries are finalising plans to build an Economic Corridor between China`s Xinjiang and Pakistan`s Gwadar Port which is being developed by Chinese firms.
China has announced USD 32 billion to be invested in next seven years in various Pakistani projects for infrastructure building and power, the Dawn said.
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