Amid mounting tension over Kashmir with India, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is set to undertake a three-day state visit to Beijing during which he will discuss a range of issues, including Kashmir, with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The announcement comes amid reports of Xi's possible second Informal Summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi later this month.
During the visit, Khan will attend the China-Pakistan Business Forum in Beijing on October 8, according to the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. The forum aims to promote economic and trade exchanges and practical cooperation between the two sides.
Khan will also thank the Chinese leadership for their support on the Kashmir issue, local media reported.
The two states will also sign several memorandum of understanding during the visit.
Ahead of his visit to Beijing, Khan has held discussions with top officials on the overall economic and political situation of the country.
Meeting of the Federal Cabinet is in progress in Islamabad with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair to discuss the overall economic and political situation of the country. pic.twitter.com/6Rr6qAdpMp— Govt of Pakistan (@pid_gov) October 1, 2019
Khan paid his first official visit to China last November and attended the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai. In April 2019, the prime minister again visited China and participated in the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.
This is set to be his third China visit in recent months. Khan’s latest visit will take place at a time when tensions over Kashmir have spiked between Pakistan and India.
At 74th UN General Assembly (UNGA), China supported Pakistan over the Kashmir issue, with its Foreign Minister Wang Yi saying, “No actions that would unilaterally change the status quo should be taken. As a neighbour of both India and Pakistan, China hopes to see the dispute effectively managed and stability restored to the relationship between the two sides.”
“The Kashmir issue, a dispute left from the past, should be peacefully and properly addressed in accordance with the UN Charter, Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreement,” the Chinese foreign minister said at the 74th UNGA session last week.
However, the Indian foreign ministry maintained that Kashmir is internal matter of India and asked China to respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"We expect that other countries will respect India's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and desist from efforts to change the status quo through the illegal so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on 28 September.
China has also objected India’s decision to declare Ladakh as separate federally administered territory while scrapping the decades old temporary special status of Jammu and Kashmir. China termed the Indian parliament’s decision as unacceptable, asking India to restore Kashmir’s status.