Get the Latest News Updates

He Lifeng, the vice premier of China, is “warmly welcomed” in Islamabad by PM Shehbaz

Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng — who arrived in Pakistan a day earlier on a three day visit — was accorded a welcome on Monday as he arrived at the Prime Minister’s House in Islamabad to meet PM Shehbaz Sharif.
The premier received the foreign dignitary at the main entrance of the PM House.
Upon He Lifeng’s arrival, the prime minister introduced his delegation comprising federal cabinet members Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Ishaq Dar, Rana Sanaullah, Syed Naveed Qamar, Ahsan Iqbal, Saad Rafiq, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Hina Rabbani Khar and Tariq Fatemi to the Chinese vice premier.
Earlier in the morning, PM Shehbaz “warmly welcomed” the Chinese vice premier and the members of his delegation.
“They are visiting Pakistan to join us in celebrating the 10th anniversary of CPEC and witnessing first-hand the transformations brought about by this game-changing initiative,” he tweeted.
The Chinese vice premier arrived in Islamabad a day earlier at the invitation of the Pakistani government. He was welcomed at the airport by Dar and Sanaullah.
According to the Foreign Office, the visiting dignitary will be in Pakistan from July 30 to August 1 (Tuesday). He Lifeng will attend a ceremony celebrating a decade of CPEC as the chief guest.
He will also hold meetings with PM Shehbaz and President Arif Alvi.
Earlier, the FO had also acknowledged Lifeng’s “prominent role” in China’s international economic relations and implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, of which CPEC is a flagship project.
As the chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission from 2017 to 2023, he was “instrumental in the planning and execution of multiple CPEC projects in Pakistan”, the FO had said.
It had added that his visit was a part of regular high-level exchanges and dialogue between Pakistan and China and reflected the importance attached by both countries to further deepen their “all-weather strategic cooperative partnership, enhance economic and financial cooperation, advance high-quality development of CPEC and explore new avenues for strengthening trade and investment ties”.
Security tightened in Islamabad
According to the security details, around 2,716 personnel of police, Dol¬phin Force, Frontier Cons¬tabulary and Pakistan Army will be deployed to ensure foolproof security along the route and venues where the Chinese vice premier will stay and attend the ceremony.
Along with the Islamabad police, the Rawalpindi police will also perform security duties along the 39.5km route from Islamabad International Airport to the Punjab House.
As per the details, 10 superintendents, 18 security superintendents and 104 Dolphin Force personnel will be part of the security duties. The bomb disposal squad of the police’s special branch will sweep all bridges, culverts, underpasses, nullahs, metro bus stops, and other places along the route before the movement of dignitaries.
No vehicle will be par¬ked along the route during the movements and security officials will report any suspected person or vehicles to senior officers.
The security personnel posted along the route will carry reflecting jackets, raincoats, bulletproof helmets and jackets, whistles and torches. Extra security will be ensured at sensitive points identified in the security plan. They will not be allowed to use mobile phones and have to display their official cards at all times.
Policemen will also be deployed on rooftops of high-rise buildings. They will be equipped with binoculars, wireless sets, and G-3 rifles.
A dedicated command and control room has been established by the Islamabad Safe City Authority to supervise security arrangements during the movement and stay of the delegation.
What is CPEC?
CPEC is a collection of infrastructure and other projects under construction throughout Pakistan since 2013. The vast initiative is intended to rapidly upgrade Pakistan’s required infrastructure and strengthen its economy by the construction of modern transportation networks, numerous energy projects and special economic zones.
The key agreement for the projects to be listed under CPEC was signed in 2013, and term sheets for them were signed during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan in 2015.
In November of 2016, CPEC became partly operational when Chinese cargo was transported overland to Gwadar port for onward maritime shipment to Africa and West Asia.
Islamabad has so far received $25.4 billion in direct Chinese investment in various transport, energy, and infrastructure schemes under the flagship connectivity and investment corridor project, under the flagship connectivity and investment corridor project, part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative.