LAHORE - Vice President of People’s Republic of China Wang Qishan was accorded a warm welcome as he arrived in the provincial metropolis on a two-day official visit.

Punjab Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar along with members of his cabinet received him at the Lahore Airport. Little girls presented a bouquet to the Chinese Vice President.

“We welcome our brother to Lahore. Your arrival is an honor for the people of Punjab and we are very happy over your arrival. Your visit will further strengthen Pak-China relations and a new chapter of Pak-China friendship will start”, the chief Minister said as he received Wang at the Airport. Chinese Vice President said that he is very happy to be in Lahore.

Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing, Consul General Long Dingbin and other members of the Chinese delegation were also present on the occasion.

Amid tight security arrangements, Wang Qishan along with his delegation was taken to the Haier factory on Raiwind Road where he visited Pakistan Haier-Ruba Economic Zone. Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, Provincial Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment Mian Aslam Iqbal also accompanied him.

Also, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan met with Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar at his office on Monday and discussed matters of mutual interest including the promotion of Pakistan-China relations, progress made on CPEC related projects and expansion of bilateral cooperation in various sectors.

They decided to further expand cooperation in trade, agriculture, and tourism sectors and both also decided to promote partnership between Punjab and major Chinese cities.

Talking to the Chinese Vice President, the Chief Minister said Pakistan-China relations were an immortal bond of friendship between the two brothers. He said China had helped its 700 million population to bring it out of poverty during the last 20 years and added that this unique Chinese model will be implemented in Punjab to eradicate poverty.

“Chinese vice president has tremendously worked for the elimination of corruption and China is a role model for us for the eradication of corruption”, he said. Buzdar said that Belt and Road Initiative of Chinese president was not only a regional but a globally important game-changer initiative.

The chief minister said a new era of economic development had been started and added that investment made by the Chinese companies was praiseworthy.

Chinese vice president said that he had come to Pakistan on the direction of the Chinese president and he wanted to give a message to the world that Pakistan-China friendship was very strong. “Lahore has given immense love and affection and Pakistan-China friendship is based on even more durable foundations. Meetings with the Pakistani leadership have been very positive and the leadership of China and Pakistan is very close to each other”, Wang said, adding that relations between the two countries were getting stronger day by day. “Lahore is a historic city and it is a reality that he, who has not seen Lahore, has not seen Pakistan”, he remarked. 

He said Chinese cooperation in the journey of the development of Pakistan will be continued and CPEC was a living example of Pakistan-China friendship. “The partnership between Punjab and Chengdu will be expanded and we are ready to promote cooperation in different sectors between Lahore and Xi’an city”, he added. Wang urged the need for promoting cooperation between Punjab and major Chinese cities in different sectors including culture and economy.

“CPEC has proved a game-changer for the region and the pace of industrial development has been accelerated by expanding economic cooperation”, he further said.

Chinese Ambassador, Consul General, members of the Chinese delegation, besides federal ministers Khusro Bakhtiar, provincial ministers Raja Basharat, Hashim Jawan Bakht, Dr. Akhtar Malik, advisor Dr. Salman Shah, Chairman PBIT Tanveer Ilyas, Chief Secretary, Chairman P&D and others were also present on the occasion.

Also, the Chinese Vice President had a meeting with the Governor Punjab Mohammad Sarwar at the Governor House. The Governor also hosted a dinner in hour of the Chinese Vice President.

Addressing the dinner, Governor said that relation between Pakistan and China will not get weak in face of any challenge. “Foundations of Pak China friendship have been laid on desire for Peace, mutual values, mutual experiences and cultural ties. CPEC has helped in heightening the mutual ties, bringing them to new level and create new mutual opportunities”.

Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jung, Chinese Consular General Lung Dung, members of Chinese delegation, Speaker Punjab assembly Ch Parviz Elahi,Federal Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, Punjab Information Minister Syed Samsam Ali Bukhari and other ministers attended the event.

Sarwar said that it was a matter of honor for him that he got the opportunity to host great Chinese delegation in Lahore, a cultural capital of South Asia. He termed the visit of a manifestation of great relations between the two countries.

Talking on the occasion, the chief minister said that e-visa facility had been introduced to further strengthen the relations between the people of Pakistan and China. “We want to explore new possibilities of economic development in Punjab in collaboration with China. The people of both the countries will be helped to come closer to each other through cultural cooperation.” The chief minister said that Pakistan and China were all-weather friends and added that Pakistan will benefit from Chinese experiences for achieving the goal of durable development.”

On Tuesday (Today), Chinese Vice President would visit Lahore fort and the historic Badshahi Mosque.