ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan will assure Chinese President Xi Jinping and other leaders of Pakistan’s unbreakable trust on the ‘iron brother’ when he visits Beijing this month, officials said.

The dates for the visit have not yet been finalised however, the Prime Minister has discussed the possible points of discussion with his close aides.

Senior officials told The Nation that the PM planned to discuss the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the strategic partnership with the Chinese leadership after the recent ‘misunderstanding’ on the CPEC.

“The aim will be to convince the Chinese leadership that CPEC is as important for Pakistan as for China. The misunderstandings could aggravate into differences if not dealt with in time,” said one official, citing the recent high-level meetings.

Prime Minister Khan is expected to visit China in mid-October. This would be Khan’s second foreign trip as the Prime Minister after his recent visit to Saudi Arabia.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi last week said they were waiting for the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The ‘iron brothers’ –as Pakistan and China call themselves – have intensified contacts after the ‘misunderstanding’ on the CPEC as the Financial Times ‘misquoted’ Adviser Razzak Dawood.

Pakistan later told China that CPEC was a matter of life and death for Pakistan and Dawood’s statement was misquoted. The Foreign Office said Pakistan remained committed to the successful implementation of CPEC.

The FO said there was complete consensus on the future trajectory of CPEC and the two sides were in agreement to expand cooperation in other areas including socio-economic development, poverty alleviation, anti-corruption, agricultural cooperation and industrial development as per the needs and priorities of the government of Pakistan.

Later, Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa also visited China and held talks with the Chinese leadership including President Xi Jinping.

The Financial Times had reported that Pakistan was planning to review or renegotiate agreements reached under China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Amid the arguments, Prime Minister Khan said Pakistan’s friendship with China was time tested. Khan, who took the office in August, believes that friendship with China was a cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy.

Chinese President Xi Jinping had proposed the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013. It provides the important network and platform of cooperation among countries along the Belt and Road regions.

Yesterday, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Khusro Bakhtiar said a new working group of CPEC was being devised to make the project successful. He said the incumbent government had devised a framework of third country investment in the CPEC. Bakhtiar said space and pace of CPEC will be increased.

Expert on CPEC Major General Zahid Shah (Retd) said CPEC was the priority of the government as bright future of the country was linked with the mega project.

He said Pakistan army was committed and capable of providing security to the billion dollars mega project. “Energy, economic and infrastructure development projects are included in CPEC and there is capacity to expand the project,” he added.

International relations expert Dr Gulfaraz Ahmed said the United States did not want Pakistan and China to come too close. “The US is envious of China's increasing influence in international market. The US-dominated international media will create confusion between Pakistan and China regarding CPEC. We need to be careful,” he maintained.

Ahmed said PM Imran Khan’s visit will send a clear message to the opponents of Pak-China friendship.