China’s shared prosperity & changing dynamics in Pakistan - ednews.net

14 August,

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China’s shared prosperity & changing dynamics in Pakistan

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Eurasia Diary presents an article titled "China’s shared prosperity & changing dynamics in Pakistan" published in Pakistan Observer.

Article was written by Dr Mehmood Ul Hasan Khan, expert on regional and geopolitical studies. 

IN continuation of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s philosophy of shared prosperity, global development & security initiatives, China’s Polit Bureau member Yang Jiechi most recently visited Pakistan and held separate meetings with PM Shehbaz Sharif, FM Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and COAS Qamar Javed Bajwa.

It seems that although both are iron clad brothers but lenses of the West especially the European Union and the USA are hurting both countries because of their commitments toward Russia and free world.

In this connection, both have their own vested interests and limitations too but constant liaison between the high level political leadership, policy makers and security establishment of both of them succeeded to sailing this friendship.

Some domestic protracted irritants in terms of security, bureaucratic delays in the approval and implementation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), tough financing & payment mechanism and Indian hegemonic designs against CPEC and its strategic partnership with the global kingmakers of power politics have strained the options of both countries.

But thanks to visionary leadership of Chinese President Xi who has been supporting Pakistan in its difficult times and supported the early completion of CPEC Phase-I and initiation of CPEC Phase-II.

Interestingly, former Prime Minister Imran Khan made a four-day visit to Beijing where he also met President Xi in the start of this year.

Afterwards, in May Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari visited Beijing to hold meeting with Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Earlier this month a senior tri-service military delegation led by COAS Bajwa met Chinese military and government officials in Beijing which all show the closeness of Pak-China ties.

Undoubtedly, right from the beginning, China has been helping Pakistan to maintain political and economic stability.

In March this year China rolled over $4.2b debt thus providing a major financial relief to Pakistan.Earlier this month China deposited $2.3 billion to boost State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reserves while this also helped in enhancing rupee’s parity against US dollar and supported government efforts of economic stability in the country.

Chinese visible and invisible support on FATF has now rescued us to pull through hanging sword of grey/black list.

Seemingly, the chessboard of power politics is staged to contain China, however, Pak-China friendly ties have helped contain misadventure tendencies in South Asia and beyond.

In this regard, China has been supporting Pakistan’s just stance on Kashmir and encouraged both sides to resolve the issue through peaceful means.

Yang Jiechi’s visit to Pakistan has opened a window of constructive dialogue between the two sides to thoroughly discuss all the punching boxes for easy and smooth sailing of pending projects of the CPEC, payment of unrealized dues of Chinese private companies, increasing fatal tendencies of terrorism and disliking against CPEC and Chinese socio-economic investments in Balochistan and Gwadar, security misappropriation, TTP, Afghanistan and formation of conflicting realities with the West.

Unfortunately, capacity building issue and indecisiveness hangover during the former regime has actually slowed down the pace of CPEC projects in the country.

Moreover, conflicting realities and contradictory statements badly damaged national narrative towards CPEC.

Ultimately dirt of national politics has swayed caravans of development and diplomacy.

Thanks incumbent government has once again accelerated the CPEC projects and removed all physical and psychological barriers associated with the early completion of CPEC Phase-I.

In this context, while meeting with Yang Jiechi Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif rightly termed CPEC a flagship of the visionary Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which has transformed Pakistan’s economic base and strengthened capacity for self-development.

The Prime Minister assured to speed up the sluggish pace of work on CPEC projects and has reaffirmed the resolve of his Government to accelerate the pace and complete CPEC projects at the earliest.

Furthermore during the meeting he shared and showcased strategic importance of strategic ML-I, Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), Babusar Tunnel, and desalination plant in Karachi because all these projects are vital to accelerate the pace of socio-economic progress in Pakistan.

In this connection, the visiting Chinese delegation met with the COAS General Javed Bajwa during which special focus on strengthening security for Chinese personnel and projects were thoroughly discussed.

General Bajwa, recently visited China and has played a key role in removing apprehensions of China in this regard as all out efforts are being made to give elaborate security cover to all CPEC related projects.

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar said Pakistan values China’s role in global and regional affairs and we look forward to enhance our strategic partnership.

During the meeting, matters of mutual interest, defence collaboration, progress on CPEC and regional security were discussed in detail.

While meeting with the visiting Chinese delegation, the Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the government is committed to fast-tracked progress on ongoing CPEC projects, and advance new projects, like Ml-1 and Karachi Circular Railway, for Pakistan’s development and the well-being of its people.

The Foreign Minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s staunch support to the “One-China” policy and all core issues of China including Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong and South China Sea.

He also thanked for China’s firm support to Pakistan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty as well as steadfast support on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

Foreign Minister Bilawal stated that special focus was being accorded to increased Chinese investment in CPEC SEZs in order to catalyze industrial development and enhance employment and livelihood opportunities for the local people.

Interestingly, a formal MoU was inked regarding announcement of China for a fresh roll over of $2 billion to Pakistan to shore up dwindling foreign exchange reserves of the country.

Furthermore, China has also decided to export 200,000 tons of urea fertilizer to Pakistan besides provision of 3,000 sets of solar home systems to help the country overcome its energy crisis through popularization of cost-effective and environment-friendly solar power.

On the other hand, Pakistan will export embryos to China for quarantine and health requirements for buffalo and Rhodes Grass to China.

To conclude, serious efforts should be started, streamlined and systemized to pay-off pending payment (Rs 230 billion) to Chinese companies.

Work on Gwadar must be accelerated as soon as possible. Unfortunately, Gwadar city has still no proper power and potable water facility.

Inclusion of affordable electric automobile production, massive hydro generation, green energies, nuclear power generation, and joint ventures in lithium battery, solar & wind panels, vaccines, health equipment, modern water conservation technologies, waste management, agricultural drones, multi-cropping system, hybrid seeds, fisheries, brown rice planation, chills, tea and soybean should be included in the CPEC Phase-II.

There is an urgent need to form a reliable corridor of knowledge to mitigate phony and false propaganda of the West about CPEC and Chinese investment in the country.

In this regard, the Centre for South Asia & International Studies (CSAIS) would play an important role in the country.

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