CPEC: Chinese Conception of Humanism and Way Forward | By  Dr Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan

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CPEC: Chinese Conception of Humanism and Way Forward

Under the flagship project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Chinese government, embassy, private sector and people are jointly striving hard to lessen the “collateral damage” of calamity and climatic disasters in the shape of severe floods in Pakistan.

In this regard, their  “substantial” “sufficient” “speedy” and “timely” humanitarian assistance vividly reflect true spirit of the dominant Chinese conception of “humanism” in the Confucian theory of “REN” wherein, the REN stands for benevolence, goodness, virtue, humanity, humanness and last but not the least, humanitarian aid/gesture.

It has indeed been an extension of the Chinese ancient philosophy of “ethical relationalism” which always prefers “personal” engagements over mere “capitalistic profits”.

It is true that image-building through humanitarian assistance has been an integral part of China’s foreign policy.

In international relations, humanitarian diplomacy is the “new queen” of modern globalized multiculturalism and China is the ultimate champion of globalization.

It has been winning hearts and souls of millions of people living around the globe through its altruistic nature of humanitarian actions. China’s humanitarian diplomacy has allocated substantial funds for humanitarian spending in the world.

Most recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message of condolence to Pakistani President Arif Alvi over the ongoing calamity of floods in Pakistan. According to official data of the National Disaster Management Authority more than 1100 people have so far died in the ongoing flooding in the country.

The Chinese President Xi noted that the severe floods in Pakistan have caused significant losses of life and property. In this connection, Xi expressed deep condolences for those deceased and sincere sympathies to their families, the injured and the people in the affected areas.

By terming bilateral relations between China and Pakistan as strategic partners and iron-clad friends, both sides have long supported each other through thick and thin, and worked shoulder by shoulder to cope with natural disasters and other major challenges.

China has responded immediately after the floods, and will continue to provide much-needed assistance to the Pakistani side and support it in its relief efforts, he added.

  “I believe that with the joint efforts of the Pakistani government and people, the people in the affected areas can overcome the floods and rebuild their homes as soon as possible,” said the Chinese President. Furthermore, the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also sent a message of condolence to Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

According to Zhao Lijian, the spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, China has provided Pakistan with 4,000 tents, 50,000 blankets and 50,000 pieces of waterproof canvas under the social and livelihood cooperation framework of the CPEC.

He pledged that considering the current situation and based on the needs of Pakistan, China has decided to provide another batch of emergency humanitarian supplies, including 25,000 tents and other supplies in dire need.

On his part, Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Moin-ul-Haque has highly appreciated China’s assistance to flood control and disaster relief efforts being carried out by the Pakistani government in flood-hit areas in Pakistan.

He described Chinese humanitarian assistance timely, important and valuable which has actually consolidated the country’s response to severe floods in the country.

He further shared that the Chinese government, numerous Chinese institutions and other private organizations are pledging their generous humanitarian assistance to Pakistan’s people.

It seems that the Chinese humanitarian assistance diplomacy has now become an essential ‘survival kit” for the struggling people and marginalized and isolated communities alike in these mud-slugged slump areas in all the four provinces.

Chinese constant generous humanitarian assistance has succeeded to win the sympathies of millions of people, trapped in the floods in the country.

Moreover, its humanitarian assistance’s massive drive has become “living semiotic” and “economic miracle” symbolism/realism consisting of genuine charity and compassion for the flood affected people and communities alike.

Due to increasing global warming, Pakistan is now fighting out with deadly floods in the country. The ongoing flooding saga produced widespread “destruction”, “devastation” and “debris” in all the provinces of the country.

Unfortunately, most parts of the rural Balochistan, far-flung areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, coastal/interior Sindh and South Punjab have now been “entangled” with “untamed’ floodwaters. Means of “human survival” and infrastructural development capacity building mechanism along with human “endurance” have “diminished” in these areas.

Moreover, “livelihood” and “livestock’, “breads” and “beds”, “soybeans” and “shelters” and last but not the least, “humans” and “hordes” have been ruined and caused huge socio-economic loss and dependency syndrome among the flood affected people in these areas.

According to the NDAM, more than 33 million people have been badly affected. More than 500,000 homes have been completely washed out. Moreover, more than 2.5 million have become homeless.

Unfortunately, uncontrolled flooding has caused a loss of US$ 4 billion and has already produced huge financial strain on the national economy. However, the Chinese government has decided to reach out to these affected people and start “converting their worries into smiles”, “cries into spells of compassion” and killing incidents into kindness.

It stood first among the international community by dispatching valuable humanitarian assistance in the form of tents, cloths, dry food stuff, medicines, vaccines and financial assistance in the country.

To conclude, the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s philosophy seems to be the “driving force’ behind the Chinese modern humanitarian assistance diplomacy.

Xi’s global development initiative, global security initiative, shared prosperity and last but not the least, community development is the real “guarantor” and trustworthy “custodian” of a prosperous world and productive gesture and signaling.

In this connection, the Chinese One Belt & One Road Initiative (BRI) has become the “biggest” infrastructural development project in the world in which so far more than 140 countries have been submerged.

Its Silk Road Health Forum and Green BRI Forum have become a beacon of hope for the immense socio-economic development in the member countries.

Moreover, its flagship project of CPEC has become a symbol of positivity and productivity. It has become one of the biggest sources of FDI in the country. It has become one of the biggest instruments of new jobs in the country.

It has also become an effective tool for economic stimulation, eradication of poverty, social cohesion and innovation. It has been termed as a lifeline to Pakistan’s economy, society, industry and even climate and biodiversity.

It is now need of the hour to further strengthen mutual cooperation in new fields of human survival, industrial productivity and alternative sources of renewables/energy, patronization and protection of food security, mitigation of increasing incidents of climate change, water conservation and climate-friendly agriculture and last but not the least, artificial intelligence under the flagship projects of the CPEC.

The policy makers of both sides must think beyond the ordinary spheres and try to chalk out comprehensive and holistic policies to tamp unbridled consequences of climate change in the country.

Climate human engineering, green revolution, drones cultivation, institutional cooperation in mountain glacier disciplines/technologies, bush fire-fighting and calamity disaster management should be included in the CPEC Phase-II as soon as possible.

Persistent viciousness of the wild nature and embodied but dangerous climate change non-state threat demands immediate introduction of climate friendly fuels in the shape of “Blue” and “Green” hydrogen energy sources and immense production of hydro generation of energy in the country.

Last but not the least, institutional cooperation in disaster management control, community development, especially during natural calamities and study of micro, small, medium and mega dams should be initiated as soon as possible.

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