BRI media conference highlights CPEC; Experts point to bright future of Pakistan
Faisal Zahid Malik
With 68 countries linked to President Xi Jinping’s Belt & Road (B&R) Initiative, China is now the fast emerging undisputed leader of the 21st Century and its leadership. President Xi Jinping and his team, has made it clear that fruits of prosperity would be shared with all the B&R countries without any discrimination or favoritism. Prosperity of the people of the entire region is President Xi’s dream which he thinks is vital for global development. “We shall lift the poor of the region from poverty as we did to our own people,” says the country’s leadership.
These views were expressed by the Chinese authorities and experts during the Belt & Road Media Conference and 10-day visit of various Chinese provinces and regions. The media conference was participated by journalists from ten countries under the B&R Initiative including Pakistan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia, Nepal, Mongolia, Malaysia and India.
Chinese authorities were of the view that China is ceaselessly pursuing President Xi’s vision of shared prosperity as well as eradication of poverty from the world in general and the region in particular.
In the media conference that held in China’s People’s Palace, the host Chinese experts on B&R Initiative replied to all the queries and responded to the questions of the participating journalists. A number of sessions relating to the China’s economic development, concept of Belt & Road Initiative, ancient silk road, China’s success in the face of grave challenges such environment degradation, uniform distribution of resources among its population, China’s relations with neighbouring countries, particularly, its role as global leader, the secret of China’s success as the second largest and the fastest growing economy of the world were discussed during the media conference.
China Pakistan Economic Corridor or CPEC and its positive impact on Pakistan’s trade, industry and energy growth also came under discussion during the media conference. It was agreed by the participating delegates that US $ 56 billion would open up new avenues of progress and prosperity for the country. A number of questions were also asked about India’s objections to the CPEC, however, the Chinese authorities said Indian objections were being taken up at the diplomatic level and B&R Media Forum was not the appropriate forum to address the issue.
The media persons were also taken to the capital of Zhejiang province in the eastern coast of China. With a vast network of high-tech manufacturing zones, Hangzhou, has become one of the largest innovation centres for artificial intelligence and robotics in the world.
Hangzhou’s advanced manufacturing corridor, located in the east of the city, expands over more than 500 square kilometres, straddling the Qiantang River and encompassing the districts of Jianggan, Binjiang, Xiaoshan, Yuhang and Fuyang. The area is already a hub for the proliferation of cutting-edge information technology and plug-in electric vehicles, with manufacturers now starting to target virtual reality and spaceflight, as well as block chain and quantum technologies.
Hangzhou boasts of dozens of industrial parks that specialize in high technology, such as Hangzhou High-tech Zone, Dajiangdong Industrial Hub, Hangzhou Economic Development Zone and Xiaoshan Economic Development Zone. Besides, six new international industrial cooperation parks are planned in the next seven years, while three additional centres will be built elsewhere in Zhejiang province in the near futue.
This scenic Chinese city also has the facility of mobile internet-enabled social services, which help people in a variety of everyday situations, from finding parking space to paying taxes or making hospital appointments.
It is not just Hangzhou, however, smart cities are sprouting across the nation after the government introduced Internet Plus in 2015, an initiative that seeks to maximize the application of the internet and other information technology in conventional industries.
With regard to the people of China and their belief in the country’s leadership, it was amazing to know that they had firm belief in Communist Part of China (CPC) and were of the view that the party had the potential and the guts to be a global leader and Secretary General of the party, President Xi Jinping with his slogan of Socialism with Chinese characteristics has given a new hope to his people.
A cross-section of Chinese people expressed their sense of pride in their leadership and reiterated that CPC under President Xi Jinping, would transform China into a country that can play a leading role on the global stage. Dawn of Chinese era, they said, is not far and would take place very soon.
Zhang Li, a businessman, said China’s GDP growth rate remained an average 7.3pc which is far above the global growth rate i.e. 2.6pc. During the last five years, China has lifted 55 million people out of poverty (60 million according to the latest figures), built the world’s largest high-speed railway network and also launched the world’s first constant satellite, he said adding it is nothing but a miracle. Adding to the list, China’s Belt and Road initiative (B&RI) to build an interconnected road network has been received well globally.
Eileen Pei an analyst said CPC’s major achievements were based on the decisions made at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and carried out by party heads with President Xi Jinping at its helm. She further added that in year 2017, 2,287 delegates were selected from 40 electoral units, including 31 provinces of China, the municipalities and autonomous regions, centrally administered organs and the People’s Liberation Army. This is real democracy, she said, that gives people a sense of ownership to the country. (To be concluded)