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Pakistan's president leaves for five-day visit to China

Pakistan's President Gen. Pervez Musharraf on Sunday left for a five-day visit to China that will mark the 55th year of diplomatic relations between the close allies, the foreign ministry said.

Pakistan's president leaves for five-day visit to China

Musharraf is scheduled to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and other senior Chinese officials, ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said. 

China and Pakistan are neighbors and longtime allies. The Communist nation is the biggest weapons supplier to Pakistan, a conservative Muslim country. In the past, Western nations have accused Beijing of providing Islamabad with advanced ballistic missiles. 

Pakistan, which has developed both medium- and long-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, denies the charge and says its missile program is homegrown. 

On Sunday, Pakistan successfully test fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile, named as short-range Haft-II Abdali, with a 200-kilometer (124 miles) range, the military said. 

During his visit, Musharraf will attend a ceremony to commemorate the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. 

"The president and the Chinese leadership will review multi-facetted bilateral relations, regional issues and other international developments of mutual interest,'' Aslam said in a statement last week. 

"The president's visit is a landmark in the 55th year of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. It will underline the all-weather bilateral friendship and will further enhance and deepen the strategic partnership between the two countries,'' the statement said.

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