China extending cash support, relief goods for flood-devastated people


‘One China’ policy intact, media should aggressively counter propaganda against CPEC: CG

Consul General of China in Lahore, Mr Zhao Shiren has reiterated his government’s commitment and resolve to provide lasting assistance for the flood-affected people of Pakistan.

In a meeting with Editor-in-Chief of Pakistan Observer Mr Faisal Zahid Malik, China’s Consul General said the scale and magnitude of the floods was catastrophic and people of the flood-hit areas were caught almost unaware by these flash floods. “Our government and people stand by the people and the government of Pakistan in this hour of difficulty,” he said and assured his government’s all-out support for the Pakistani brothers and sisters.

China is among the first countries which dispatched relief goods inluding 3,000 tents and other relief material besides millions of RMB cash assistance, and additional disaster-relief supplies worth 300 million RMB on top of the 100 million RMB emergency humanitarian assistance are on the way. The Consulate General, together with the Chinese community in Lahore, also mobilized resources to help the flood relief and rehabilitation efforts.

He said, “We consider Pakistan our iron brother and China will continue to help and assist Pakistan in relief work.” He said Chinese leaders had sent messages of sympathy to their Pakistani counterparts on the terrible floods that have hit all the four provinces of Pakistan. “I am sure through our joint efforts, we will overcome the difficulties, ” he said.

The Consul General also spoke on the recent visit of the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan and termed it very provocative and against the diplomatic norms. He made it clear that China’s stance on the Taiwan issue was consistent and crystal-clear i.e. “There is only one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China.”

The Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the entire China, he said, adding this is at the heart of the one-China principle and also a universal consensus of the international community and a basic norm in international relations.

Resolutely safeguarding China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is the firm will of more than 1.4 billion Chinese people and to achieve China’s full reunification is the shared aspiration and sacred duty of all the Chinese people.

Mr Zhao Shiren emphasized that public opinion would not be defied, and the trend of the times could not be reversed. No other country, force or individual shall underestimate the firm resolve, strong will and great capability of the Chinese Government and people to defend state sovereignty and territorial integrity and to achieve national reunification and rejuvenation.

About China Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Consul General was of the view that first and the foremost, solidarity, stability and security (3S) were the essential criteria to ensure the timely and quality implementation of CPEC in the hosting country.

Foreign investment, trade and the expedition of CPEC projects is precondition on social unison, predictable and stable policy and safe and business-friendly environment, he said.

China seeks brotherly relations with Pakistan not only for the sake of the government, but also is more for the people, the country and the nation, he said, adding no matter which political party was in power, we are of the view that the iron-clad relations and CPEC will sustain and the Pakistani government should make policy deliverable based on consensus, while political parties also needed to put national interests before the partisan ones.

Secondly, he said, CPEC was a shared undertaking, a common endeavour as the Pakistani people had the (co)-ownership of the projects. While implementing the Belt & Road Initiative, we Chinese always seek extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits with partners and stakeholders. This principle also applies to the CPEC, he said and added that ownership meant taking the driver seat, boldness and responsibilities.

“We invite Pakistani brothers to synergize our development strategies and have close policy dialogues. We spare no effort to make CPEC more resilient, vibrant and mutually beneficial. After all, the future of CPEC is ultimately in Pakistanis’ hand and we hereby ask for more initiatives from our Pakistani partners,” he said.

Thirdly, we must bring all stakeholders on board and launch a CPEC-related publicity offensive in particular. In addition to creating a favourable policy, security and business environment, a friendly public opinion is required to cement CPEC growth. CPEC, like the BRI, has won along its way more and more friends and partners from the region and around the world. About a handful of opponents to the CPEC his views were as the CPEC was transforming from Phase I to Phase II and that too with a renewed pace, some false narratives, negative propaganda and vicious rumors were on the rise. Misperceptions about CPEC projects, their aims, utilities and scopes were there, misinformation and disinformation are disseminated on social media and in that context, both Pakistan and China should make joint efforts to reach out to a wide sector of the Pakistani society and thus launch a CPEC awareness campaign to build up national consensus.

We should also invest more on messaging accurate, precise and truthful information about CPEC projects, and further engage media outlets, so as to form positive narratives and depict soft image of CPEC projects and Chinese investment, mitigating fake and fictional news, counteracting the negative propaganda and consolidating the CPEC process, he said adding, “Media plays an important role in this, thus I wish Pakistan Observer can contribute its part to the sustainable development of the CPEC.”

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