Roundtable with a 6-member delegation from Chinese People’s Associations for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC)
The China Pakistan Study Centre at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) organised a Roundtable Discussion with a 6-member Delegation from Chinese People’s Associations for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) on November 9, 2022. The Roundtable discussion was moderated by Dr. Talat Shabbir, Director China Pakistan Study Centre at ISSI while the Keynote addresses were delivered by Lin Songtian, President CPAFFC and Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed.
In his introductory remarks Dr. Talat Shabbir, Director, CPSC said that China’s reforms and opening up with the world began in early 80s and that initiative triggered enormous development and prosperity avenues for China. The modernization of China is being termed as ‘China’s rise’ in international politics. The world today is keenly looking at great transformation of China and President Xi Jinping’s philosophy of ‘win-win cooperation’, ‘common destiny’, and ‘shared future’ is making perfect sense for the world.
In his welcome remarks, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman Board of Governors, ISSI, said that ever since the Pakistan-China relationship was established it has been developing and has reached the status of all-weather strategic cooperative partnership. China has now become the 2nd biggest economy of the world and the world bank has also stated it. He noted that the remarkable achievement of China particularly the policy of ‘open development’ is doing wonders for China and is something from what Pakistan can learn a lot.
In the keynote address Mr. Lin Songtian, President CPAFFC said that despite all of the changes in global landscape, Pakistan has always stood by China and same goes for China. China has always stressed on shared prosperity and win-win cooperation and for that it encourages fast development of its neighbours too particularly its iron-brother Pakistan. The purpose of this visit is to see what Pakistan has, where it stands, what it needs and how can China help and facilitate it. He stated that this visit also aims to carry forward the joint consensus of President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. This political consensus between the leadership of Pakistan and China can take this relationship to new heights, build a more tangible and steady association and will also send a strong message to the rest of the world. Mr. Songtian gave a detailed historical background of the economic and political polices China adapted to lift 800 million people out of poverty and how its GDP increased dramatically over the years making it the 2nd largest economy of the world and bringing it to where it stands today. He noted that China is contributing 30 percent to global growth today. He stressed that for China unity has been the key to development and CPC under the leadership of President Xi Jinping has promoted the idea of one collective fight for one collective cause. He stated that seeking peaceful development and win-win cooperation are key goals of China. Through shared economic development and by attracting more investors China could make this region better. Investment is the key to production and only production can sustain a nation, a community and a household. He stressed that for long-term development and to attract investments the laws need to remain concrete and the policies should be consistent despite the political changes. Law plays a key role in economic stability and to attract investments. He further emphasized that there is a need to uphold principles of justice and fair play for correct and steady economic development and there is a need to maintain a global vision not only for a ‘better time’ but for a ‘better world’. Summing up he said that, in order to transform our strong friendship into a more dynamic relationship we need to encourage people to people contact, study tours, exchange visits of media, academia, experts and students. This will increase avenues for multi-faceted cooperation and will add a new leaf in the friendship and cooperation between the two states.
In the key-note address, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed said that despite having different cultures, systems and beliefs Pakistan-China relations are quite unique, remarkable and unprecedented in the chronicles of modern history. No matter how things change in the region or the world China will firmly support Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and Pakistan will do the same. It would not be wrong to say that China is the ‘sheet anchor’ of Pakistan’s defense, territorial and economic interests. He noted that China today is the leader in globalization and it is doing great work to make China more Green and Clean. He further said that Pakistan’s foreign policy is on the right side of history and singling out or making an enemy of China is something which Pakistan and various other countries across the globe will not accept. He concluded by saying that Pak-China relationship is in the interest of Pakistan, China and the entire region. President Xi’s goals of shared destiny and global development initiative can help turnaround the entire region and put Pakistan on the path of fast-track development. China is a fast country when it comes to development and if we want to keep up and gain from this relationship we need to regulate our policies, bring consistency in laws and move forward with unity and strong political consensus regarding economic development.
The remarks were followed by an interactive Q&A session. In the end, Chairman BoG ISSI, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood presented the distinguished guests with ISSI’s memento.