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Massive Economic Plan at Center of China-Pakistan Visit

FILE - Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China, March 31, 2015.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to launch $46 billion in infrastructure projects when he begins a two day visit to Pakistan on Monday.

Xi's trip is expected to focus on the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor, a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects to link China with Pakistan's port of Gwadar. The project, when completed, would give Beijing quicker access to markets in central Asia and a shortcut for importing oil from the Middle East.

A U.S. State Department official has said the U.S. supports the economic corridor plan, saying it is aligned with a shared vision of regional economic connectivity.

A spokesman for Pakistan’s government has said the visit will mark the transformation of relations from a global strategic relationship to a new type of economic relationship. But the security side of the relationship is also expected to deepen.

The two sides may sign a deal for Pakistan to buy eight submarines from China.