ISLAMABAD - A high level Chinese parliamentary delegation is arriving on a two-day official visit to Pakistan. According to the Senate Secretariat, the delegation will be headed by Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

The Chinese delegation is visiting on the invitation of Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani. The visiting delegation will exchange views with the Pakistani leadership on matters pertaining to bilateral cooperation besides regional and global issues of significance for both Beijing and Islamabad.

The visiting dignitaries will hold meetings with President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani and National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq to explore avenues of mutual cooperation and enhance parliamentary cooperation. High level interaction and exchanges are regular features of close bilateral relations.

The Pakistan-China all-weather strategic cooperation partnership is based on shared principles and interests and forms the foundation of cooperation in diverse fields. Both countries enjoy close cooperation and hold similar views on important world issues. Long and rich history of close and cordial ties resonates strongly at official as well as public levels.

The parliaments of the two countries enjoy close and cordial ties. Frequent visits of parliamentarians from both sides have added vigour and vitality to the relationship. Recent visits from Pakistan to China include the visit by the speaker of the National Assembly in January 2015 and chairman of the Senate in November 2015. Delegations from Pakistan and China also met at the 9th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership meeting held in Mongolia in April 2016.

A fifteen-member delegation of Parliamentary Committee on CPEC led by Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed visited China in May 2016 to build consensus on CPEC. The visit helped the delegation obtain the Chinese perspective on CPEC and deliver the message that political parties in Pakistan supported the CPEC and there were no differences among them when it comes to China-Pakistan friendship.

There is, however, a need to encourage more visits from the Chinese side to Pakistan as parliaments are the ultimate forums in any country. Platforms like the Pakistan-China Parliamentary Friendship Group can play an important role in this regard, besides facilitating greater people-to-people contacts between the two countries. This would promote mutual understanding and learning between the legislators of the two countries.