CPEC & Pakistan Speed: The New Era of Development | BY Muhammad Ehsan, Beijing


CPEC & Pakistan Speed: The New Era of Development

International media such as Voice of America possibly in collaboration with think tanks has recently showed an urge in misinformative and defamatory propaganda newscasts against China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, especially through Voice of America Urdu channel intending a huge infectious impact upon its more than three hundred thousand viewers, which sticks like a thorn in Pakistan’s economic development.

In August, Voice of America Urdu Service tried to raise the concern that the Shahbaz government has decided to close CPEC, but on the other hand over the years, China and Pakistan have been in close, full and friendly communication over CPEC.

China understands Pakistan’s effort to integrate resources, raise efficiency and make institutional adjustment.

The communication with Pakistan has only got closer and smoother & Pakistani analysts believe that CPEC cooperation will deliver greater results. Yet western media states that instead of growing Pakistan’s economy CPEC has escalated to a plethora of problems involving lack of security to Chinese workers who have been constantly targeted by Baloch rebels, misallocation of investment and poor implementation by Pakistan.

The CPEC has been mentioned as the crowning glory in China’s ambitious global Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that seeks to link up countries and continents through highways, rail tracks, port and airport linkages. The $62 billion project seeks to link Kashgar in the Xinjiang region of China to the Gwadar port in the insurgency-driven Balochistan province.

International media is making its profound efforts to dent diplomatic relations between the iron-clad brothers. But professionals from both countries are highly committed to achieving the goals for the project.

In July, Voice of America Urdu Service stated that India’s refusal to involve third world countries in CPEC will lead to failure and criticism. But instead, countries like Iran are looking for investment opportunities in CPEC, which proves nothing but further growth of CPEC.

We can understand CPEC’s growth by Prime Minister Shahbaz’s tweets stating, CPEC had transformed Pakistan’s economic base and pushed the economy towards self-development while reaffirming to accelerate pace & complete CPEC projects.  Western media keeps posting articles with targeted disinformation tags such as “putting Pakistan into a debt trap” to insurge hatred against CPEC.

But  this has continuously been proven falsified by Pakistani government, analysts and media professionals.

To counter western media propaganda, a special video message by Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was played.

He said that Pakistan-China relationship is indeed a special relationship that has no parallel in contemporary international relations.

Personally, it is a great honour to be talking about this special bond because my grandfather Prime Minister Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto is architect of this very relationship and in 1963, he signed a historic boundary agreement between Pakistan and China. He was also the last world leader to meet Chairman Mao.

Moreover, he said that Pakistan People’s Party is committed to sustaining, maintaining and continuing this relationship. This clearly indicates that this prolonged relation among Iron brothers is solely based on mutual collaboration and respect.

VoA Urdu deliberately released statements as “Slowness of CPEC” surges distrust and discomfort among Pakistani viewers on CPEC.

Voice of America Urdu also directly stated this project lacks investment to the point where they say, not a dime is invested after the establishment of CPEC Authority which is clearly understated.

Higher management at Pakistan-Chinese Enterprises Association(APCEA) emphasized that the CPEC has attracted 25 billion USD in Foreign Direct investment.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed commented on the dividends of CPEC, stating that CPEC has created 75,000 jobs for Pakistanis so far, and energy projects under CPEC have produced over 5,000 MW electricity.

In certain VoA Urdu reports state that “China has not openly expressed its concerns regarding CPEC”, which seems to be a naïve enough statement, as China has clarified the goals and further plans for each CPEC project.

Authorities said that we need to encourage strengthening of narrative building and join hands in combating fake news. Media bears the sacred mission of advocating order and justice. They said that we should take advantage of our complementarity, increase positive publicity, take initiative for building narratives from our own perspectives, and jointly respond to negative public opinions.

Western propaganda tells stories about inefficient and useless efforts towards development through CPEC programs. Such statements are proved senseless by economic analysts several times. The CPEC is a suitable solution to meet the energy deficit in Pakistan besides its commercial, economic, geopolitical and social benefits.

The economic instability of Pakistan will be removed through business with neighboring countries through the port of Gwadar. CPEC is bringing developed infrastructure of roads, railway tracks, energy pipelines and Gwadar international airport.

This will open more job opportunities for jobless people. The $11 billion will be spent on the development of corridor infrastructure out of a sum of $62 billion investment by China besides providing loans to Pakistan at lowest possible interest rates so that Pakistan could not ask from any other institutions in the world for loans at highest interest rates.

The CPEC is not only beneficial for both of the countries in business and trade but also fruitful from the regional security & defense point of view as CPEC is developing the regional security cooperation between China and Pakistan besides increase in the naval partnership which is beneficial for both of the countries.

CPEC has positive and evident effects on the social development of Pakistan. The social welfare growth in the education sector 3.85, health and housing sector 4.74 and 8.6 percent simultaneously which is high level growth in terms of living standards.
CPEC has been one of the hot topics of the day for the media.

Media all over the world including Pakistan has been noticed debating and discussing certain aspects of CPEC. The everyday coverage and every step of the development has been brought to the public through certain media outlets. So, it is important to counter the misinformation on every media outlet.

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