WE often read and listen that Pakistan and China are brotherly nations. Friendship of both nations is deeper than sea, sweeter than honey and higher than mountains. The recent Chinese humongous investment known as China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has also contrived terms such as ‘CPEC: A Game Changer’ and ‘Iron Brothers’ etc. However, despite these all attractive slogans, deeper cooperation and humungous investments, Pakistanis do not entirely know about Chinese political, social and economic structure. China is an alien country for common Pakistani people, who have constructed various stereotypes about China and its citizens based on the well-organized Western propaganda.
My recent visit to China’s Gansu Province for a fellowship programme is one of the most enthralling visits of my life. The programme is sponsored by the Foreign Affairs Office of Gansu Provincial People’s Government (hereafter GSFAO). The aim of the programme is to open Gansu Province wider to the outside world, and to explore communication and cooperation abroad in the fields of economy, trade, science and technology, education, culture and etc. Apart from making new friends from 22 countries of the world, I have tried to analyse, why the nation is developing so fast?
Firstly, I have been most impressed by Chinese peoples’ hard work and dedication towards their professions. Punctuality, persistency and development of skills in their profession are basic traits of their lives. They do not leave jobs or professions regularly. While travelling, I always found people smiling, exchanging greetings with one another, or conveying warmth, especially towards foreigners. I also studied people and their daily life styles in China and found that the younger generation is less formal, more open and accepting. They like to communicate with foreigners, particularly with American and European citizens. They want more social interaction with these countries in order to learn their socio-economic development. One of my Chinese coordinator told me that the country has adopted all Western traditions with some modifications in line to their traditional norms and values. Majority of Chinese do not believe in religion, but they respect all religions on earth. A sense of ‘live and let live’ is at its epic in the Chinese society.
Secondly, people are politically highly organized, motivated and committed to their assigned duties. In one of my meetings with young volunteers of Communist Party of China (CPC), who were sitting on the road side, I learned that those young volunteers were sitting to help senior citizens, women and children of the town. It is their duty to show some contribution towards the society, prior to get membership in CPC. This helps in establishing empathy for society and helps them in understanding daily life challenges.
For them, President Xi and a local member of CPC are equal; however, only duties are different assigned by the party. CPC members get promotions based on their contributions for society. For CPC members, party and society are identical identities. From Youth leagues to Central Organization, CPC has a well-organized administrative network. All policies are ensured to be implemented in a very smooth manner, which increases the work efficiency. Thirdly, Chinese always use the word ‘organized development’ for society and nation. For them, simply development can bring challenges in the long run. To avoid those challenges, they work in an organized way to develop the community and nation so that it can sustain for long time. For instance, China has understood that non-renewable energy resources can reduce their development growth rate. Therefore, they have decided to work on renewable energy resources. In this regard, solar energy is the main area of interest for Chinese government.
To conclude, these all traits are prerequisite for establishment of a powerful nation, who can assert economically and politically at international arena. It is suggested that through increased cooperation, Pakistan can learn and benefit from China, especially in the field of Information Technology and from greater exchange of alternative sources of energy.
—The writer works at Islamabad Policy Research Institute, a think-tank based in Islamabad.