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2nd LD: Chinese president arrives in Islamabad for state visit

Xinhua, April 20, 2015 Adjust font size:

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived here Monday for his first state visit to Pakistan, a South Asian neighbor that Beijing has long described as an "iron friend."

Pakistan is the first stop of Xi's first overseas trip this year. Eight Pakistani Air Force JF-17 Thunder fighters were dispatched to escort Xi's plane when it entered Pakistani air space.

During the two-day visit, Xi will meet with Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other leaders, as well as people from various sectors, for in-depth exchanges of views on bilateral relations and issues of shared interests.

The visit is expected to focus on strengthening bilateral ties and advancing the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking Pakistan's deepwater Gwadar Port with China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The two sides are scheduled to hammer out a package of deals in such fields as energy, infrastructure, trade and economic cooperation.

China has become Pakistan's largest trading partner. Official statistics show that two-way trade exceeded 16 billion U.S. dollars last year, marking an annual growth of 12.57 percent. Endi