Infusing energy into Pakistan
Courtesy: S M Hali
The 21st century will be the harbinger of prosperity to the continent under the guardianship of China as the century of Asia
While addressing the Pakistan-China Media Forum on the 21st century Maritime Silk Road, China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and One Belt One Road projects, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong praised the people of Pakistan in a unique manner. He stressed that the magnificence, discipline and splendour of the Pakistan Day parade gave an impressive message of the strength, resilience and courage of the people of Pakistan, who celebrated their national day in a befitting manner, despite the trials and tribulations that they have faced in recent years.
Weidong stated that the gala event of the March 23 parade showcased the vibrant “energy” that the Pakistani nation possesses. Using the pun of energy, the Chinese ambassador reiterated that the 21st century Maritime Silk Road, CPEC and One Belt and One Road projects would help alleviate the energy shortage in Pakistan. The ambassador passionately elucidated that these initiatives were set to reshape not only the regional economy but to revamp and restructure global economic infrastructures. He said that the initiative of the 21st century Maritime Silk Road and One Belt and One Road, which were conceived by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, were mega projects for the entire region. These projects will go beyond regional ambits to bring about enormous changes not only to the national economies of the benefiting states but also to the economies of people at the grassroots level. He said that the CPEC was a major component of the aforementioned initiatives of the Chinese leadership and had attained added importance not only for Pakistan and China but also for all the relevant states. He said the CPEC is not merely an ordinary economic corridor or a transit trade route but it is, in fact, a full and comprehensive package, having a variety of benefits and linked projects. He said that under the CPEC, the Pakistani nation would be able to generate around 10,000 megawatts of power, a number of hydropower dams, a high-speed railway facility, educational institutes and medical facilities. The CPEC would also be the harbinger of enormous job opportunities for Pakistanis.
Sun Weidong explicated that Pakistan-China ties were unique in the history of relations between nations. He said that it was unique in the case of Pakistan and China and that the real power behind relations was the people of both countries, which was why these ties have always remained untouched by global political and diplomatic changes. Overwhelmed with emotion, he declared that the depth and warmth of the relations between the peoples of Pakistan and China can simply be judged by the fact that when the people of Pakistan are hurt, the people of China feel the pain and when the people of Pakistan smile, the hearts of the people of China blossom.
It would be worthwhile to mention here that that the 21st century will be the harbinger of prosperity to the continent under the guardianship of China as the century of Asia. A number of initiatives have already been taken, notable among them is the advent of the China led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, in which China has contributed $ 100 billion and the establishment of the Silk Road fund, in which China has put up $ 40 billion so far. China has deliberately slowed down its economic growth, setting it at seven percent to emphasise quality rather than quantity. The Chinese leadership is fully cognisant of the fact that 200 million Chinese live below the poverty line. The rise of the Chinese economy must have a trickledown effect on every strata of society to raise the quality of life for all. The Chinese leadership has taken a considered and well deliberated decision to ensure that the declining growth rate will not lead to unemployment. The slowdown reflects China’s structural shift from export oriented heavy industry to the increased production of consumer services, which require more workers to produce the same profit outputs as the former.
The theme of the Boao Forum 2015, hosted by China, is: ‘Asia’s New Future: Towards a Community of Common Destiny’. This title is self-explanatory and underscores the endeavour of China to take the rest of Asia, especially its neighbours, along on the path of development, peace and prosperity. Sino-Pak ties, which have stood the test of time and stand on a solid edifice of trust and mutual respect, should be emulated by other nations so that the world becomes a better place with no room for trust deficits, misgivings and hostility. Taking the concept of infusing energy a step forward, the Chinese ambassador asked the media to create a greater understanding of the CPEC project because he could very clearly foresee great prosperity for Pakistan in the coming years when the CPEC will reach fruition and deliver its benefits.