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Pakistan to be Among First Destinations of New Chinese FM

ISLAMABAD: New Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang will be visiting Pakistan in the first quarter of this year as Islamabad would be among his first destinations for his external sojourn.

Earlier, Qin visited Pakistan as Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs during c government, highly-placed diplomatic sources told The News here on Saturday. Foreign Minister Qin is a close aide to President Xi Jinping and is viewed as an astute diplomat. He was serving as his country’s envoy to the United States before assuming the top diplomat position in Beijing.

The sources in Islamabad reminded that the invitation to the Chinese foreign minister to visit Pakistan was pending with Beijing and an understanding had been conveyed that as soon as schedule of external visits of the new foreign minister was chalked out, a Pakistan visit would be among his first destinations.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari felicitated Qin Gang on his appointment as China’s Foreign Minister. In a tweet on Saturday, the foreign minister said he is looking forward to working with him, taking China-Pakistan all-weather cooperative strategic partnership to greater heights. In his reply, Qin Gang thanked Bilawal for his warm congratulations and reciprocated the sentiments. Qin Gang was appointed as the new foreign minister, according to a decision made by the 13th National People’s Congress Standing Committee on Friday. Qin Gang, the incumbent Chinese Ambassador to the US, has replaced Wang Yi, who is a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and State Councillor. Wang Yi, who served his country as foreign minister for about a decade and was known as a friend of Pakistan, has been elevated in the Chinese hierarchy and would continue to serve in a senior position overseeing foreign affairs.

The sources hinted that Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari would revive the invitation to his new Chinese counterpart for visiting Pakistan soon. Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Moinul Haq will convey the invitation to the new Chinese foreign minister, the sources added.

Source : The News