Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has yet to visit China, which is considered uncommon considering that Beijing has usually been one of the first places any new Pakistani leader visits.
According to reports, one of the key reasons for the delay in his visit was the tight Covid-19 protocol being followed by Chinese President Xi Xinping.
Many analysts believe Covid-19 regulations may not be the sole cause considering Pakistan and China’s strategic alliance. There may be a possibility for PM Shehbaz and President Xi to meet in person next month as President Xi is expected to attend Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, set for September 15 and 16.
According to reports, it is still unclear from an official standpoint whether President Xi will actually attend the summit. Due to tough Covid-19 regulations, he might attend the meeting virtually.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin are among the world leaders who are attending the SCO conference. Pakistan is also looking at opportunities for a potential one-on-one meeting between Putin and Shehbaz, according to media reports.
On the other hand, the foreign minister of Russia, Sergei Lavrov, extended an informal invitation to Bilawal Bhutto to visit Moscow.