CPEC has transformed Pakistan’s socio economic landscape: Chinese Envoy

Pak-China naval drills contributing to safeguarding sea lines, CPEC

ISLAMABAD, Aug 29 (APP): Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong on Monday said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had transformed Pakistan’s socio-economic landscape by overhauling its infrastructure and alleviating the energy crisis.

Termed Pakistan-China relations ‘rock-solid’, the envoy expressed his country’s sympathies to Pakistan in lieu of the ongoing flooding, saying China would not leave Pakistan in such testing times. Pakistan had always supported China in such situations, he added.

Addressing a seminar on the upcoming 20th National Peoples Congress (NPC) of the Communist Party of China under its flagship ‘Friends of Silk Road’ initiative, Nong Rong recalled how Pakistan donated all the available stock of tents to China in the 2008 earthquake.

Commenting on the NPC, he said it was the most important political agenda of the current year end.

The panelists, at the seminar organized by the Pakistan-China Institute, discussed the prospects of the 20th NPC of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which will be held later in 2022. This congress is held every five years, where China watchers look for clues to the country’s future.

President Xi Jinping is expected to be re-elected for his third term as Secretary General of the CPC and President of China. Moreover, the Party Congress will set key priorities for the next five years, in particular, as well as China’s two-stage development plan for the middle of the 21st century.

A special documentary titled ‘China’s Governance under President Xi Jinping in the New Era (2012-2022)’ was also screened, depicting China’s achievements. The content of the documentary reflected the on-ground realities in China and aspirations of the Chinese people who regard President Xi Jinping as the ‘core leader’ of the Communist Party of China, who, through his people-centered approach to governance and development has proven to be the worthy successor to Chairman Mao and Deng Xiaoping.

Pakistan-China Institute Executive Director Mustafa Hyder Sayed introduced the ‘Friends of Silk Road Initiative’ which has become the premier platform to understand China, and a bridge people-to-people connectivity between Pakistan and China, serving as a platform to gather political leaders, students, media professionals, and think tanks to brainstorm new ideas of thought which both countries can further cement their relationship in various fields.

Chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Defence Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed thanked China for donating 25,000 tents and cash for the flood victims in Pakistan.

He said the core message emanating from President Xi Jinping’s leadership was the people-centric development and human security.

He said the Global Development Initiative (GDI), introduced by President Xi Jinping on September 21, 2021, promoted inclusive and open collaboration, and was a crucial platform for international cooperation and the public good that China offered.

Similarly, Seantor Mushahid said, President Xi Jinping this year announced the Global Security Initiative (GSI), which, as President Xi stated, was meant to ‘uphold the principle of indivisible security, build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, and oppose the building of national security based on insecurity in other countries’.

He termed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, the most important developmental and diplomatic initiative of the 21st century.

He said China was a leader in the climate change and globalization.

He also dismissed the notion of a ‘New Cold War, ‘ advocated implicitly by some hawkish quarters, and said the region could not afford another cold war since it would destabilize the whole region needlessly.

Pakistan Peoples Party Secretary General Farhat Ullah Babar said the 20th NPC would be a game changer for China and the region since it would decide the future course of policy for the country. It was also expected to provide an opportunity for President Xi Jinping to secure a third term as Chinese president.

Moreover, he hoped to learn from China’s experience fighting terrorism and alleviating poverty. He was also concerned about ‘resurgence of militancy in Afghanistan and Pakistan’ and expressed his fears that the United States might use the militants for terrorism against Pakistan and China.

Senator Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar said the whole process of the people’s democracy went far beyond the rhetoric by political parties in the model of western democracy for getting votes and subsequently leaving their voters in a lurch in facing unresolved problems.

The whole-process democracy, he said, entailed incorporating crucial components of genuine inclusion and participation, such as elections, decision-making, management, and supervision, into a structure that “truly empowers people and puts them in control”. The success of the novel kind of democratic system had been demonstrated by Chinese experience, he added.

Senator Dr Zarqa Suharwardy Taimur talked about the dividends brought by CPEC for Pakistan. She said 27 CPEC projects totaling about $19 billion in investment had been finished as of June 2022, and another 27 totaling about $7.7 billion in investment were now in the construction phase.

She said CPEC contributed one to two percentage points to Pakistan’s annual economic growth. The CPEC projects, she added, had created over 80,000 job opportunities for locals, while 28,000 Pakistani students were studying in China.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, in her closing remarks, said, “China is the country that unites Pakistan, that brings all of Pakistan together.”

No government had ever tried to change China’s position as the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy, she added.

The minister said China was a pillar of peace and stability in the region being a preserver, promoter, and protector of principles of peaceful coexistence. The initiatives launched by President Xi Jinping, whether it is Global Development Initiative or Global Security Initiative, were a testament to the fact that China prioritized human security and stability over confrontation.

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