Pakistan and China to sign MOUs on development of strategic Gwadar port

The Foreign Ministry in Islamabad said Sunday that Pakistan and China will sign several memorandums of understanding during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Pakistan, starting Wednesday.

Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani said as many as 12 MOUs will be signed, including three linked to the development of the strategic Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea, which China has been managing since February.

According to local newspaper reports, Pakistan wants China to commit to the construction of an international airport at Gwadar as well as improved infrastructure, linking Gwadar port with Pakistan's railway and national motorway at the city of Ratodero in Sindh province.

Another important MOU to be signed during Li's visit relates to the development of a 1,000-megawatt hydropower project in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, which has been hampered by financial and bureaucratic difficulties.

The Chinese premier is also expected to discuss promotion of the Chinese language and the opening of Chinese cultural centers across Pakistan.

Li will arrive in Islamabad on Wednesday for a two-day visit to discuss details with Pakistani President Asif Zardari.