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SOURCE: ANI

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed their consensus on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’s (CPEC) high-quality development and the timely completion of major ongoing projects in a meeting, reported Dawn.

This comes at a time when the Pakistan PM and his delegation are on a five-day visit to China, marking Shehbaz Sharif’s first visit to China following the February 8 general elections.

The two leaders also affirmed their consensus on CPEC’s upgradation and advancing the mega project’s development in its second phase, according to Dawn.

Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif is likely to see the inauguration of CPEC’s second phase.

The trip, however, has led to a delay in the annual federal budget usually presented in the first week of June and is now expected to be presented on June 12, according to the government’s tentative plan.

The Pakistan prime minister briefed Chinese President Xi on Pakistan’s policies for economic reforms, sustained growth, industrial development, agricultural modernisation, regional connectivity and the critical role played by CPEC in the country’s development.

He asserted Pakistan’s commitment to CPEC’s high-quality development and to fostering synergy between the development strategies of the two countries through close coordination, reported Dawn.

Notably, this was the first meeting of PM Shehbaz with President Xi since assuming office.

The meeting was marked by “traditional warmth reflective of the ironclad friendship and close strategic ties between the two countries”, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

The Pakistan PM commended President Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Global Development Initiative, and further underscored that as the flagship project of BRI, CPEC had significantly contributed to Pakistan’s socio-economic development.

Meanwhile, the Chinese leader also called on Shehbaz Sharif to step up efforts to ensure the security of Chinese projects in Pakistan, Dawn reported.