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Zardari Arrives In China's Restive Xinjiang Region

PTI 30 Aug 2011, 21:29:54 IST

Beijing, Aug 30: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari today arrived in China on a three-day visit which would include a tour of the restive Xinjiang region and a meeting with the country's emerging leaders like Vice-Premier Li Kequang.

Zardari, who is on his seventh visit in the last three years, arrived in Urmuqi, the provincial capital of Xinjiang bordering PoK that witnessed attacks by the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) militants last month, some whom China alleged were trained in terrorist camps in Pakistan. 

Zardari would be the first foreign head of state to visit Urmuqi, which has been rocked by violence by separatists Uygur groupes.

An official schedule of Zardari's visit said he would participate in the first China-Eurasia Expo being held in Urumqi from September 1 to 5.

Besides attending the Expo, which is aimed at strengthening business-to-business linkages between the two countries, the President is schduled to meet Chinese Vice-Premier Li, who is regarded as successor to Premier Wen Jiabao when he retires in 2013.

Zardari, who arrived with a high powered delegation, was given a red-carpet welcome.

China made unprecedented security arrangements in Urmuqi which experienced riots in 2009 during which about 200 people were killed and several hundreds injured. 

In the realm of counter-terrorism, Pakistan and China enjoy full solidarity and trust, Pakistan Ambassador to China, Masood Khan said ahead of Zardari visit. 

Pakistan and China have been working productively to counter terrorism and to frustrate the designs of ETIM, he said, adding that this cooperation has been intensified. 

“China has always recognised Pakistan's contribution in war against terrorism and noted Pakistan's resolve that it would never allow its soil to be used for terrorist acts,” he was quoted as saying by Pakistan's state-run APP news agency. PTI