CPEC & Caravans of Socio-economic Prosperity

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Dr Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan

THE China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the “symbol” of immense “socio-economic” prosperity. It is indeed a “platform” of prosperity, economic stability, sustainability, industrial progression and systemic “persuasion” of social development, capacity building in health, education and housing sectors. The CPEC has become a “magnetic” force to eradicate poverty, generate new jobs, remove shadows of darkness by installing more and more energy projects (thermal, coal, hydro, nuclear) in the country, height of infrastructural development by developing vast interconnected network of roads, super highways, motorways and tunnels and above all “hope” for economic revival especially after COVID-19.

The CPEC has gained tremendous “momentum” because of trustworthy political willingness of both the countries wherein main stakeholders and organs of the states are also playing substantial role in its further “consolidation”, “advancement” and “development”. In this regard, the outgoing Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Yao Jing to Pakistan played a “remarkable” role. Due to his “superior” diplomatic skills he succeeded to overcome various “hardships” in the development of the CPEC. He simultaneously outreached policy makers and rulers alike to rebut western propaganda against the “strategic” importance and “optimal utility” of the CPEC. He arranged unlimited consensus media’s campaigns to remove self-defined and self-inserted elements of confusion and doubt about transparency and financial viability of the CPEC.

He held press briefings on a regular basis to disseminate socio-economic dividends, associated with the CPEC to Pakistani audiences. He persuaded a “holistic” approach to project the unlimited benefits of the CPEC to policy makers, businessmen, investors, academia and even people of Pakistan and successfully “shackled” secret axis between international “schemers” and local “spoilers” against the CPEC. Mr. Jing worked tirelessly to achieve harmony among different political parties and pressure groups alike about the actuality and operationalization of the CPEC. He promoted spirit of trust, cooperation, corporation, coordination, accommodation and above all hope between the two states and among different stakeholders.

During his tenure he further consolidated bilateral Pak-China relations in terms of public-private partnership, high inflows of FDIs, joint ventures, economic free zones, development of seaports, infrastructural development, high education cooperation, science and technology, military liaison and especially focus on promoting economic diplomacy and ensuring smooth working of CPEC. Ambassador Yao Jing served in Pakistan thrice in various capacities and in aggregate stayed in Islamabad for eleven years. He has now completed his three years ambassadorial term in Pakistan which he termed a noble mission but caravans of socio-economic prosperity, mutual trust and befitting propositions will never stop because it is not an “end” but “beginning” of new “era” of greater friendship, trust, respect and development. In his departing message to the people of Pakistan he wished prosper and stable Pakistan. Mr. Jing was the facilitator in the initiation and implementation of the 2nd phase of the CPEC in the country. He achieved splendid progress in the success of the CPEC by signing the 2nd phase of China, Pakistan Free Trade agreement.

The outgoing Ambassador Mr. Yao Jing extended immense humanitarian assistance to the government of Pakistan and its people struggling against onslaught of the deadly virus COVID-19 by providing medicines, medical kits, masks, doctors, nurses and paramedical staff. Moreover, he extended Chinese expertise to fight against severe attack of locust in Pakistan due to which fields, crops and farmers of Pakistan are now well protected. During his stay he supported Pakistan’s principled stance on Kashmir, Afghanistan and appreciated its strong resolve against terrorism. While leaving Pakistan, he showed his confidence that the Sino-Pak relations will be further consolidated and the CPEC projects will be fate and game changer by contributing to the well-being of the people and media would play the role of frontline soldier against all malicious propaganda against CPEC. The outgoing Chinese Ambassador Mr. Yao Jing was a true friend of Pakistan.

Caravans of socio-economic prosperity is unstoppable and have already embarked on “infinite” voyage of further strengthening of Sino-Pak bilateral relations, greater socio-economic integration, regional connectivity, trustworthy political consultation, people-to-people contacts and above all massive industrialization and energy generation. The Government of People’s Republic of China (PRC) has now appointed H.E. Nong Rong, Head of Ethnic Affairs Commission of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region as the new envoy of China in Pakistan. Mr. Rong is currently a minister in a provincial government. He has diversified but integrated rich expertise in trade and commerce. Unlike the outgoing Ambassador, he did not serve in Pakistan before the appointment. He joined the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) in January 1987, started work in July 1991, holding a Master Degree in business administration, senior management and international business.

He has served in the Government in various capacities including foreign trade and economic cooperation, ASEAN-business, City Mayor and Hong Kong, Macao & Taiwan regions. During his dynamic career he assumed the post of Secretary of the Party Committee of the Ethnic Minority Language Working Committee of the Autonomous Region and Vice Minister of the United Front Work Department of the Autonomous Region Party Committee in December 2019 which shows elements of versatility, velocity and diversified expertise of newly appointed Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan which would be used for the further strengthening of Sino-Pak bilateral relations in the days to come. In January 2020, he worked in the slot of Director of the Ethnic Minority Language Working Committee of the Autonomous Region. He remained deputy to the 13th National People’s Congress and member of the 11th Party Committee of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Since ancient times, China has been a “staunch” supporter of cultural and people diplomacy to remove barriers. The appointment of new Chinese Ambassador Mr. H.E. Nong Rong, s non-career diplomat, should also be seen in this context. Being a prominent regional expert on CPEC & BRI, I really appreciate Chinese deep insight to appoint an expert of trade and commerce as new Ambassador to Pakistan, who would be an ideal choice to gear-up the CPEC Phase- II projects in Pakistan with zeal. He has vast experience of trade and commerce promotion, senior management, political decision-making, people’s diplomacy, human survival, productive channels, cultural fusion, economic development and last but not the least, commercial diplomacy which would be a valuation-addition to implement the CPEC Phase-II projects in Pakistan in the days to come. I personally believe that the new Ambassador will speed up work on the CPEC Phase-II projects. China and Pakistan are committed to turning CPEC as a role model of BRI for the rest of the world to be followed. Designated Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan H.E. Nong Rong has the requisite and relevant expertise.

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