Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad
March 18, 2016
The Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad (ISSI), in collaboration with the Pakistan- China Institute organised a Public Talk and book launch of “China’s Stories, China’s Success- How China Transformed in the past 40 Years” authored by Mr. S.M.Hali . The distinguished speakers on the occasion were; Hon. Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman Parliamentary Committee CPEC and Chairman Pakistan-China Institute; H.E Mr.Sun Weidong, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Pakistan; Hon. Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhary, Federal Minister of Planning, National Reforms and Development, Pakistan
Ambassador Masood Khan, Director General, ISSI, in his welcome remarks stated that Mr Hali is a very perceptive observer and has tried to capture multiple diverse facets of China’s rise. Ambassador Masood said that the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor (CPEC) mega-project is a success story. Pakistan-China relations are very strong. China is strong country and will remain strong in the decades to come and Pakistan is fortunate to be so closely associated with China. He said that China would continue to rise. Both the CPEC and the ‘One- Belt, One- Road’ initiatives will be success stories. By implementing these projects the international community under the leadership of China is trying to reform the world order, foster economic development and promote stability in the region and inter-linked regions all around the world. This is said were ‘cross-continental’ initiatives. Quoting from Deng Xiaopeng, he said China was being guided by the “Start from Reality” motto. Most objective analyses substantiate that China would remain a positive factor in the world economy in the years and decades to come. He stressed that Pakistan and China needed to improve people to people contacts and focus on reform, development and stability. We should create and interface between government, academia and industry like China has he added. Ambassador Masood stated that Pakistan-China relations are very resilient and resistant to failure and will survive any conspiracy.
Mr. S.M.Hali stated that through his book he had tried to showcase and bring together the different cultures and traditions, which exist in China. He went on to highlight the fact that China has been the only country to aid Pakistan in times of trouble. He drew parallels between his visits to China in 1974 and 2010. On both occasions he noted that the love for Pakistan had not changed and had only grown in depth. He dubbed China’s success on the fact that the country has always remained focused. China has not just developed in the fields of science, technology and infrastructure but also in its intellect. He stated that the steps being taken to uplift the minorities are tremendous and remarkable. The people of Pakistan and China, love each other from the depth of their hearts. This love is based on sincerity of emotions- a feeling one cannot find anywhere in the world.
Mr Ahsan Iqbal called the CPEC a game-changer and stated that credit goes to the leadership of both countries who within the space of one year have transformed a mere idea into a project worth $46 billion. He stated that the CPEC dream is now breaking new ground and is a reality. He emphasised that Pakistan has delivered more than it promised and has met all the timelines in this ongoing implementation of the CPEC. He also stated that there is complete unity, harmony and consensus with regard to this project and all the provinces of Pakistan are on the same page where the CPEC was concerned. He stated that Pakistan should learn from China’s development and success. If political stability and social solidarity are maintained, Pakistan would become a magnet for investment. Mr. Iqbal went on to say that this was an age of knowledge and economics, something China recognised early on. In this age of competition, better economic returns will translate into more success. He stated that there is a need to connect knowledge and production platforms so that they contribute towards innovation. The Pakistan of today is better than the Pakistan of 2013. The country’s energy situation, economic indicators and security situation is improving and this should be reflected in the psyche of the people of Pakistan.
Senator Mushahid Hussain stated that the quality and caliber of leadership makes a significant difference to the development of a country. Whether or not the leadership learns from previous mistakes and embarks on a course correction is very important. He stated that Pakistan has also learnt from it’s mistakes. Operation Zarb-e-Azab is an indicator of this. He emphasised the need for consistency, adding that think tanks, media, civil society and women are pivotal players in the development of any economy. He mentioned China’s development targets – 2021 and 2049- and the steps it has taken to reach these goals. He stated that the fact the Pakistan and China have stood by each other in all situations is a testimony of their strong ties. Mr Hussain highlighted the changing global scene where the balance of economic and political power is shifting from the West to the East. He went on to say that the 21st century is the ‘Asian’ century in which China’s peaceful development is a model and a source of strength for the countries of Asia and the developing countries of the Third World.
Ambassador Sun Weidong in his remarks stated that China is a peace loving country and it will defend itself from any outside aggression. He stated that the goal of any Chinese leadership is to provide a better living for its people. He stated that China will work towards it’s development targets whole heartedly. He said that China believes on focusing on its main target which is the economic development of the country because this will not only bring welfare to the people of China but will also be a conduit for world peace and prosperity. He stated that a combination of development, reform and stability are key for achieving success- development as the core, reform as the tool and stability as the basis. The Ambassador acknowledged that poverty alleviation is a difficult and huge task for the Chinese government and doing so will be a huge step towards progress. He stated that China has found the correct path for its development and will focus more on the quality of economic growth rather than the quantity and base the economic growth on innovation and opening up. He highlighted the uniqueness of the Pakistan-China relations and stated that this will only continue to grow. With regard to the CPEC he stated that it was a huge project and it will bring benefits to Pakistan and the region. Both countries should work together towards its successful completion and make Pakistan and China friendship as strong as steel.
Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman BOG, ISSI concluded the talk and stated that through a determined policy Pakistan can embark on development. He stated that China has a very coordinated and well-thought policy, which lays emphasis on green, open and shared development. Even though Pakistan and China do not share a common religion, language, ideology or culture, their friendship has only blossomed over the years and will continue doing so primarily because the friendship enjoys national consensus in both countries.