World leadership need to adopt pragmatic approach towards ‘Belt & Road Initiative’: Media Experts

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By Rafia Haider

BEIJING, July 26 (APP): Around 250 senior journalists and media  experts from across the world here on Tuesday sought a pragmatic  approach from the world political leadership towards the Belt and Road Initiative of China.

They observed that the initiative encompassing Silk Road Economic  Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, of which China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was also an integral part, was equally relevant to international peace and economic prosperity.

Actively participating in the 2016 Media Cooperation Forum on Belt  and Road, themed as “New Cooperation Prospect: Towards a Community of  Common Destiny,” organized by People’s Daily of China, the largest daily  of the country, they acknowledged that the new Silk Roads connecting the
two economic circles of Asia- Pacific and Europe, covering regions as  South Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa, hold tremendous potential of cooperation between East and West.

Speakers presenting their key note address and remarks on the  occasion included Ahmed Alsayed, Chairman, Al-Ahram, Egypt, David  Merritt, Executive Editor for Asia Pacific, Bloomberg News -USA, Muhammad Naeem Chaudhry, Director, Assosicated Press of Pakistan Corporation, Tan Kang Uei, Deputy CEO, Singapore Press Holdings Ltd, Andrew Bonamour, CEO, Times Media Group, South Africa, Jose Vera, President La Agencia EFE,  Spain, Guy Zitter, former Managing Director, Daily Mail and General  Trust (DMGT), United Kingdom, Carolyn Luey from New Zealand Media,
Jonathan Leff, Global Head of Financial News Startegy, Reuters and others.

Most of the presenters reiterating the fact that Belt and Road Initiative first proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 is a common cause of all people as it promotes mutual cooperation for joint benefit and joint infrastructure development suggested that media  pertaining to all 70 countries already part of the initiative as well as those from the countries not directly part of it need to encourage “Silk Road Spirit,” and disseminate a positive energy so as to further expand opportunities of development and prosperity among the people in general.

They emphasized that the media can not only play its role in
generating more political interest but also serve as a channel to build confidence among the countries and the people living along the road and belt, paving way for implementation of strategies and also ensuring transparency in the implementation process itself.

Role of varied means of media in raising public awareness and public education was also discussed on the occasion and need for accurate and comprehensive reporting was suggested with the motive to connect people  and protect the larger benefits of the communities with equal attention towards enhancing mutual trust among them.

Muhammad Naeem Chaudhry, Director Coordination, Associated Press  of Pakistan Corporation, cited One Belt and One Road Initiative a new  vision for economic development offering lifetime opportunities to  different countries including Pakistan keen to achieve the goals of stability through enhanced conectivity.

This initiative, he said is rightly billed and characterized as a
new economic model that holds solutions to the contemporary economic imbroglios presently faced by the world.

The senior journalist from Pakistan said the world is required to explore new ways and means to scale sustainable economic trajectory  through Belt and Road like initiative and that the countries located at stone’s throw from the corridors can reap far-reaching benefits and dividends through a pragmatic approach and absolute sense of commitment.

He on the occasion urged the media to highlight that the initiative  is not just a single roadmap but envisages multiple corridors for the development of the continents and countries without any discrimination.

“Development without peace is not possible and peace without  economic development is a pipe dream,” he said mentioning that peaceful ambience can pave way for belt and road is getting the continents and countries equipped with economic prosperity.

He cited China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a testimony to the depth and strength of China – Pakistan relationship that without any doubt in years to come would turn the entire region among the beneficary of the corridor.

Guy Zitter (Daily and General Trust – U.K), said four trillion US dollars investment in the Belt and Road Initiative is a massive investment  in infrastructure development that could not be ignored as it focuses on  new roads, ports, airports boosting trade leading to wealth generation
and prosperity in vast parts of the world and that UK could definitely  be among the beneficiaries.

David Merritt from Bloomsberg News – USA, said globalization would continue to deepen and expand while China’s connectiveness to the world could also not be ignored hence it is important for the world community
to understand the importance and relevance of one belt and one road initiative.

Speakers also explicitly discussed the emerging technologies in  the sphere of media fast transforming the industry and also exposing it  to new challenges in specific context of knowledge dissemination with  due consideration towards authenticity and transparency.

During the day long session senior Chinese officials including Hu Heping and Lin Duo, Governors of Shaanxi and Gansu provinces  respectively alongwith Hi Lifeng, Vice Chairman, National Development  and Reforms Commission, Ms. Yan Xiaofeng, Secretary General, State Owned Assets, Yang Zejun, Chairman, Board of Supervisors, Silk Road Fund and others shared details of the achievements made in the realm of one belt  and one road initiative with the foreign guests.