ISLAMABAD - Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa yesterday reached China on an official visit, ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s arrival in Beijing.

During the visit, which aims at enhancing the bilateral cooperation with China, the two leaders will discuss issues of regional and bilateral importance with the Chinese leadership.

“The army chief is scheduled to meet the Chinese military leadership including the Peoples Liberation Army commander, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission and commander Southern Theater Command,” said the ISPR.

General Bajwa will also join the prime minister’s meetings with Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping, the military’s media wing added.

These meetings between the civil and military leaderships of the two neighbours are in continuation of the long-established tradition of their regular contact and close consultation on bilateral, regional and international issues.

The current visit of Pakistan’s military and civilian eldership has assumed more significance as it comes amid the heightened tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi because of India’s illegal actions in the Occupied Kashmir.

President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang “will separately host banquets in honour of the Prime Minister. A number of agreements and Memorandums of Understanding are expected to be signed at a ceremony to be witnessed by the two Prime Ministers,” said a foreign ministry statement issued here on Monday.

The prime minister will exchange views on regional developments including the state of peace and security in South Asia arising from the situation in occupied Kashmir since August 5. The visit will be instrumental in further cementing Pakistan’s economic, investment and strategic ties with China, it said.

A high-level delegation including Foreign Minister, Minister for Railways, Minister for Planning, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Petroleum, Chairman Board of Investment and senior officials is also accompanying the prime minister.

The prime minister will apprise the Chinese leadership of the government’s recent landmark decisions to speed-up implementation of ongoing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects as well as efforts to project CPEC as a High-Quality Demonstration Project of the Belt and Road Initiative.

There will be interaction with senior representatives of the Chinese business and corporate sector for deepening bilateral trade, commercial and investment partnership.

The prime minister will also participate in the closing ceremony of the Beijing International Horticulture Expo, as a Chief Guest, where Premier Li Keqiang will be the host.  Pakistan and China are closest friends, staunch partners and ‘iron brothers.’

The two countries are joined together in an “All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership.” This time-tested friendship between the two countries is based on unparalleled mutual trust, understanding and commonality of interests.

The leadership of both countries is fully committed to building closer China-Pakistan Community of Shared Future in the New Era.