BEIJING – Four talented journalists from various Belt and Road countries were awarded by China’s biggest media outlet for showcasing successful stories of development and enhancing people to people contacts under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Recently, China’s biggest media network CGTN held an essay competition between journalists from B&R countries with a title, “My Story” under BRI.
CGTN had advertised competition on March 16, 2019 and the last date for submission of the articles was fixed as April 5. Journalists from all BRI countries participated in the competition as over 100 youngsters submitted their respective stories from around the world.
CGTN announced results on April 14, 2019, categorizing 18 most influential essays as winners. First prize was claimed by three participants – Oskar Galeev from Russia, Chee Yik Wai from Malaysia, and Ankur Shah from United Kingdom.
The four writers detailed how the BRI has changed lives of the people in their respective countries. They showcased how BRI had positively impacted their country’s trade, economic activity and had generated employment opportunities. Let’s not forget the ordinary people that are at the center of this mega project, the BRI. The four candidates travelled from Russia, Fiji, Uganda and Maldives to attend a live TV show at CGTN.
Senior anchor Tian Wei hosted a discussion with the four winners and two BRI experts including Hannah Ryder, CEO of Development Reimagined, an international development consultancy based in Beijing, and Andy Mok, a non-resident fellow at the Center for China and Globalization.
Mubarak Mughabo from Uganda shared his story detailing how China’s BRI has contributed immensely to the development of various countries in Africa. He said that in Uganda, a number of infrastructure projects have been launched, including the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway connecting Kampala City to Entebbe International Airport. These projects also generated jobs for commoners. He said BRI offers a win-win cooperation and unlock Africa’s strategic bottle neck.
Lesieli Fonua Talei from Fiji shared her story, detailing how BRI had helped break six-year impasse on a bridge in her country. She noted the bridge means cut in travelling time and helping markets and vendors benefit from the bridge.
Development in the Island nation of more than 800,000 has seen steady growth in recent years, thanks to the assistance provided by China.
Fatimath Saara from Maldives shared her story of a bridge constructed under the BRI. She opined that with the opening of its first cross-sea bridge, a history had been made in Maldives.
She said the bridge has changed people’s lives and businesses, making things much easier for everyone living in the area, as well as those visiting the country.
She mentioned the support and assistance for the Maldivians by China has always directly benefited all residents while relations flourished based on mutual respect and understanding.
BRI cooperation crucial for post-Covid economic recovery, says expert
ISLAMABAD: The Belt and Road Initiative is crucial for global economic recovery in the post-pandemic era and building a community with a shared future for mankind by following a path of cooperation, unity and common development, said a political economist.
“Enhanced constructive engagements based on the principle of win-win cooperation is the need of the hour to overcome the challenges posed by the still raging pandemic, and ensure sustainable global economic recovery,” Shakeel Ahmad Ramay, director of the China Study Center at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, an Islamabad-based think-tank, told Xinhua in an interview.
He said that China is strongly committed to implementing the BRI for the common good, which is evident from the recently held high-level conference on the Belt and Road cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
“It (conference) shows the strong commitment of China to global cooperation and sustainable recovery and development […] China has assured its support to BRI countries. China is willing to provide market opportunities, investment opportunities and growth opportunities for global recovery,” the expert said.
Terming the BRI a proactive constructive economic cooperation plan, Ramay said that despite the global economic disruptions and worldwide lockdowns, China did not pause the initiative and continue to pour investments into various countries, especially the least developed countries.
China kept on investing in BRI programs when the world was going through a serious economic fallout due to Covid-19, giving the much-needed breathing space to a number of countries, including Pakistan, he said.
He said the projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, an important pilot project of the BRI, progressed steadily during the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that the projects also helped generate employments and were a great relief in the hardest of times.
During the pandemic, Pakistan and China have enhanced cooperation in the field of agriculture, science and technology and energy. Also, work on special economic zones under CPEC is in full swing to promote industrialisation in Pakistan and boost the national economy, he said.
The economist said that the BRI has been helping to bridge the worldwide infrastructure investment gap. “The world is facing severe challenges to meet the investment for infrastructure development which can hinder economic growth worldwide […] in the context, the BRI investments are helping countries to bridge that gap.”
Ramay said that China has been trying to create new economic opportunities globally, adding that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement signed among its 15 participating countries including China, will provide solid economic growth to the world.
The expert believes that global economic recovery is not possible with the mentality of unilateralism or the “ourselves first” approach as being adopted by some developed countries.
“Rich countries should assist poor countries in containing the pandemic by timely providing vaccine, pooling the resources and working on deeper integration, which will also be ultimately favourable for the developed world through the creation of a market for their products,” Ramay said.
He said that Covid-19 vaccines should be declared as a global public good to fight against the common enemy, and China has been working determinedly in this direction.
“China has donated vaccines to many countries, and it is supplying vaccines at the concessional rates as it is the best instrument against the deadly virus […] vaccinated people can come back to their jobs and play their part in economic prosperity,” he said.
However, Ramay said that despite all the efforts, a few so-called rich Western countries are creating hurdles for China out of their hegemonic thinking and zero-sum Cold-War mentality.
“Instead of concentrating on the most pressing challenges like Covid-19 and world economy, they are bent to baseless criticism and focusing on how to contain China. These countries even dubbed the Chinese vaccine assistance to needy countries as vaccine diplomacy,” he said.
Yet, ignoring all the negative propaganda, China is making every effort to turn the ongoing challenges into opportunities for everyone to forge a prosperous world on sustainable development principles, he added.
Xi declares “complete victory” in eradicating absolute poverty in China
BEIJING, China (Desk) – Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on Thursday that China has scored a “complete victory” in its fight against poverty.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said absolute poverty has been eradicated in the world’s most populous country.
Xi made the announcement while addressing a grand gathering held in Beijing to mark the country’s accomplishments in poverty alleviation and honor its model poverty fighters.
Over the past eight years, the final 98.99 million impoverished rural residents living under the current poverty line have all been lifted out of poverty. All the 832 impoverished counties and 128,000 impoverished villages have been removed from the poverty list.
Since the launch of the reform and opening up in the late 1970s, 770 million impoverished rural residents have shaken off poverty when calculated in accordance with China’s current poverty line.
China has contributed more than 70 percent of global poverty reduction over the same period.
With such achievements, China has created another “miracle” that will “go down in history,” Xi said