The recent 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), has not only sparked a domestic craze to study the report delivered by Xi Jinping at the congress, but it also triggered heated global discussion about China’s future development blueprint in a new era mapped out in the report.
As the top priority of China’s pursuit of opening up in all fronts, the Belt and Road Initiative drew lots of attention at an international symposium. An active participant and also a beneficiary of the initiative, Pakistan has a lot to say about the topic. China Today interviewed former Prime Minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz, who participated in symposium.
Shaukat Aziz said, it is a super initiative, a true game to empower the world,”. He thought the Belt and Road Initiative historically significant with far-reaching influence and the potential to fundamentally change the world. He indicated that the initiative is providing a new type of connectivity among countries along the routes.
He said: “The whole world is paying close attention to it because it will change the destiny [of some countries]. It [the construction of the Belt and Road] creates growth, new infrastructure, and connectivity between nations. When that happens, you get economic growth. If you get growth, people will get the standard of living raised, poverty reduced, and they will feel better.
Aziz said Pakistan is one of the beneficiaries of the initiative. He pointed out at the symposium, “I can tell everyone I know, based on my past experience and my personal judgment, the Belt and Road Initiative will truly unleash the development potential of related countries, and improve their peoples’ lives.”
Aziz remarked that the implementation of the Belt and Road projects is exerting profound influence on Pakistan. “Pakistan will benefit substantially.
These projects will create opportunities for people, more jobs, and a better future. So it’s a win-win for both sides, no hidden agenda. That’s why we like it. Very simple, and clear.
Aziz said, the initiative is well-known in Pakistan. Pakistan people are very thankful to China for building roads, power plants, and other infrastructural facilities.
There are many projects in Pakistan and lots of Chinese companies. “And we welcome them. Because Pakistan needs investment, and growth comes with investment and jobs created by investment.
Shaukat Aziz highly appreciated vision of President Xi Jinping who reiterated “building a community with a shared future for mankind” in the report he delivered at the 19th CPC National Congress. Aziz spoke highly of the proposal, “It’s a very practical and effective concept. Because if you have a shared future, if your success can lead to other people’s success, people will be peaceful. They’ll try to help each other, and not compete with each other, or have conflict with each other. I think it’s a guarantee for peace. And peace and respect come together.”
An old friend of China, Aziz has many personal experiences of China’s drastic changes. “When I first visited China in the 1990s, there were few hotels, road quite empty at night, people mostly on bicycles, and few cars. We had to pay foreign currencies to use taxis. Now it’s a completely different country, a major transformation. China now is a big power of the world. At the same time, you can also see a lot of Chinese around the world, so China is expanding, establishing its brand through its people.” Aziz attributed all these to the country’s good system, effective policies, and wise leadership.