A festive Islamabad, jubilant kids and Pakistan’s top leadership welcomed Chinese President Xi on his arrival on a two-day state visit on Monday (20 April 2015) on a much-awaited trip that seeks to bolster strategic and economic cooperation between Pakistan and China. The visit is the first by a Chinese president to Pakistan after nine years.
A fleet of eight JF-17 Thunder jets escorted the special plane of the Chinese leader when it entered Pakistan’s airspace. A red carpet and a 21-gun salute welcomed the Chinese president as he landed at the Nur Khan airbase in Rawalpindi.
Schoolchildren holding Chinese and Pakistani flags greeted President Xi in Chinese language and young girls showered flower petals on the visiting dignitary.
President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his cabinet members and top Pakistani officials received the Chinese president, who was accompanied by China’s First Lady, his cabinet members, senior leaders of the Communist Party and leading businessmen. The chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and three services’ chiefs were also among those present at the reception.