BEIJING, China – Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) being a part of the BRI has come as a blessing for Pakistan and we would always be supporting the CPEC.
Addressing the participants of a reception of Chinese Cultural Communication Center here, Prime Minister Imran Khan invited Chinese companies to invest in Pakistan.
“Belt and Road Initiative has given us an opportunity to catch up with other nations. CPEC has provided an opportunity for Pakistan to attract investment not just from China, because China is the fastest growing economy in the world now. So obviously China is a main home from where we hope to invite investors,” he said.
Khan said we are looking forward to not just Chinese investment in specifically in Special Economic Zones (SEZs), which are being set up in Pakistan under the CPEC. The PM said he was hoping that in these special economic zones, China would relocate its industry.
“We have been told that the labor in China has gone up because of the high wages as living standard going up. So we would really benefit from relocation of certain industries in Pakistan which would of course help us build our in exports,” the prime minister said.
Expressing his bond with China, Khan said that when Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai came to Pakistan, he along with other students had stood on roads to welcome the Chinese dignitary. He said that this decades-old bond of Pakistan, China friendship reflected the depth of the strong relationship. He said Pakistan would love to learn from China’s experience of industrialization. He said other countries are now looking to invest in Pakistan.
“Pakistanis are happy to watch China progressing and I want to just say on behalf of my country that we will be fully supporting the CPEC. The whole country is behind CPEC. So we are looking forward to Chinese investment and relocation of certain industries, which probably have become costly now in China to achieve economic prosperity,” he mentioned.
“The cooperation between Pakistan and China now has diversified. We are going into agriculture. We’ve asked help from China in agricultural technologies. We’re going into science and technology. We know the Chinese universities have developed internet, artificial intelligence. In various technologies, China is far ahead of most of the countries in the world,” he added.
Prime Minister said what impresses people in Pakistan the most is that China is the country in the history of mankind that in last 30 years has taken over 700 million people out of poverty. “So in Pakistan, this is where we seek help from China. We already collaborated on our poverty alleviation programs,” he added.
“Normally if you have two brothers, one earns when the other doesn’t do. Pakistan is now working to establish stability and peace”.
He said unless there is peace and stability in region, economic prosperity is difficult. And that’s what right now Pakistan government is working on. Khan said Pakistan hopes that political solution in Afghanistan would succeed and Afghanistan would also attain stability.
“Whatever happens in Afghanistan affects the Pakistan’s bordering areas. So we are working for a peaceful region. We have decent relationship with Iran and we are trying to strengthen them. The only problem right now is our relationship with India. But we are hoping that after the Indian elections, we will again hope to have a civilized relationship with India too,” he added.
He expressed gratitude to China for its consistent support over the years towards Pakistan. He said Pakistan really appreciates the way President Xi has invited so many world leaders and his ability to invite heads of states and world leaders to this Belt and Road Forum.
“It shows China is growing strength. The relationship between Pakistan and China has always got stronger. And the reason why this got stronger is because people in Pakistan know that whenever we have difficult times, and they have been difficult times, China has always stood by Pakistan. China has always been there for our most difficult times. And therefore there is this very strong relationship between the people of Pakistan and the people of China,” he concluded.
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