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BEIJING— Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Pakistan next week where the two countries are expected to agree on economic and energy deals worth more than $40 billion. Leaders are highlighting how the trip will transform the relationship to focus more on economic development, but it also could have significant implications for security challenges in both countries.

Xi’s state visit to Pakistan is the first time a Chinese leader has visited the country in nine years. Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao says the fact this is his first foreign trip this year highlights the importance Beijing places on developing Pakistan-China relations.

Liu says the Chinese president’s visit “will seek to lay out a comprehensive plan for Pakistan-China relations and cooperation over the next five-10 years and take relations to a new level.”