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Updated March 3rd, 2024 at 20:08 IST

Chinese Prez Xi Jinping Congratulates Pak PM Shehbaz Sharif, Hopes to Deepen Strategic Partnership

During his victory speech, newly-elected Pak PM Shehbaz Sharif vowed to promote China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects with its all-weather ally Beijing.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Pakistan's newly elected PM Shehbaz Sharif and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Pakistan's newly elected PM Shehbaz Sharif and Chinese President Xi Jinping. | Image:AP
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Beijing: Chinese leader Xi Jinping, on Sunday, congratulated Shehbaz Sharif for being elected as the Prime Minister of Pakistan for a second time and expressed his wish that their two countries continue to deepen their all-weather strategic partnership. Sharif was elected as the next PM of Pakistan after being chosen as the consensus candidate of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Sharif received 201 votes in the 336-member house as opposed to his challenger Omar Ayub Khan who managed to secure 92 votes.  

In his congratulatory message, Xi said he believes that under the leadership of younger Sharif and the new Pakistani government, and with the united efforts of all walks of life in Pakistan, the country will achieve new and greater accomplishments in the cause of national development and progress.

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Xi stressed that China and Pakistan should continue their traditional friendship, strengthen exchanges and cooperation in all fields, jointly build an upgraded version of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), continue to deepen the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership and build a closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era to bring more benefits for the people of the two countries.

In his victory speech, Shehbaz Sharif vowed to further promote the CPEC projects with China, an all-weather ally.

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Both Shehbaz, his brother and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif are familiar political figures for the ruling Chinese Communist Party as both of them along with the Pakistan military strengthened the all-weather alliance during their tenures. They are also firm backers of the strategic CPEC project.

China has been providing forex loans and rollover of its debt periodically to bail out Pakistan which is facing a severe economic crisis.

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Recent reports from Islamabad said China has agreed to roll over a USD 2 billion loan due to be paid in March.

Besides Xi, Chinese Premier Li Qiang sent a congratulatory message to Shehbaz, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

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With inputs from PTI. 

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Published March 3rd, 2024 at 19:57 IST

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