September 6, 2014 / 3:38 PM / in 3 years

China's Xi postpones Pakistan visit due to protests

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China and Pakistan have postponed a state visit to Pakistan by Chinese President Xi Jinping in light of anti-government protests in the South Asian country, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

China's President Xi Jinping attends a conference marking the 60th anniversary of the "Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence" at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, June 28, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Lee

“Given the current political situation in Pakistan, the Chinese government and the government of Pakistan agreed to delay for a time the state visit of President Xi Jinping to Pakistan planned for later this month,” it said in a statement posted on its website.

Beijing and Islamabad were working through diplomatic channels to find a new date for Xi to visit as early as possible, it said.

Protesters in Pakistan have been demanding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s resignation since mid-August. The crisis has taken many turns, subsiding at times only to flare up again in violence, with most commentators saying it was too early to say whether a negotiated solution was in sight.

Reporting by John Ruwitch; Editing by Rosalind Russell

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