Pakistani President Alvi starts two-day visit to China
Updated 22:43, 16-Mar-2020

Pakistani President Arif Alvi is visiting China from March 16 to 17 at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying announced in Beijing on Monday.

Alvi is among the several foreign leaders who have traveled to China since the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen and Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga paid visits to Beijing in February. 

In a phone conversation with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan last month, Xi said China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperation partners with a tradition of mutual assistance. 

After the epidemic broke out, Pakistan immediately expressed its solidarity with China, offered donations and assistance despite its own difficulties, and has maintained all bilateral regular exchanges, Xi said, noting that Pakistan's National Assembly and Senate both passed a resolution offering full support for China's COVID-19 battle. 

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This is Alvi's first visit to China since becoming the 13th president of Pakistan in September 2018. 

Pakistan's Foreign Office said in a statement that the visit will play an important role in further solidifying the historic bonds of trust and mutual support between the two "iron brothers." 

"This time-tested friendship is based on unparalleled mutual trust, understanding and commonality of interests," it said. "The leadership of both countries is fully committed to building closer China-Pakistan community of shared future in the new era."

(With input from Xinhua)