Pakistani PM visiting China to strengthen economic ties

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is visiting China to further strengthen economic ties between the two countries.

This is Sharif's first trip to China since he started his second term in March. The prime minister aims to enhance economic cooperation under China's Belt and Road Initiative in the five-day tour that began on Tuesday.

Sharif attended China-Pakistan Business Forums in Shenzhen on Wednesday. He stressed that there is immense potential for bilateral trade and investment in sectors including IT, mining, steel and agriculture.

Sharif said: "Pakistan's industries grow, China gets profits and Pakistani businessmen progress in all these fields. The sky is the limit."

The prime minister also wants to push the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a massive infrastructure project that includes ports and railways.

China has reportedly pledged over 60 billion dollars in the CPEC framework. But recent reports indicate Beijing has become reluctant to continue further investments due to delays in existing projects, as well as concerns about security and political instability.

Several terrorist attacks targeting Chinese nationals have taken place in recent years. Authorities in Pakistan say those were carried out by Islamic militants, as well as separatist groups disgruntled with China.

Sharif said at the forum that he will spare no effort to protect Chinese people and such incidents will never happen again.

Pakistani officials have announced that Sharif is set to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and hold delegation-level talks with Premier Li Qiang on this visit.