By Song Tao
China’s Minister of IDCPC
The China Pakistan Economic Corridor Political Parties Joint Consultation Mechanism (JCM) was established in March 2019 marked by convening of its first conference.
Over the past one year and more, the JCM has played a positive role not only pooling consensus on CPEC development among Political Parties in China and Pakistan, but also in facilitating steady progress of CPEC cooperation.
On 20 Aug 2020, the second JCM conference was jointly held by the International Department of the Central committee of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC) and ten major Pakistani political parties via video link. The event was attended by Mr. Song Tao, minister of the IDCPC, Mr. Liu Qi, Secretary of CPEC Jiangxi Province committee, Mr. Sadiq Sanjrani, Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan, as well as leaders of ten major Pakistani political parties.
H.E Arif Alvi, President of Pakistan, sent to the event a hearty message of congratulation, which was reciprocated by a verbal message from H.E Xi Jinping, General Secretary of CPC Central committee and President of China. This fully demonstrates the leaders of two countries attach great importance to and show firm support for China-Pakistan relations and CPEC cooperation.
In his keynote speech at the conference, Minister Song Tao stressed that the CPC stands ready to work with political parties in Pakistan to implement the important consensus reached between leaders of the two countries, contribute the strength of the political parties to high-quality Belt & Road cooperation and take the China-Pakistan all weather strategic partnership of cooperation to new heights.
Minister Sing Tao has written an article regarding this which The Daily Mail is publishing for the interest of our valued readers:
China and Pakistan are true friends & good brothers sharing weal and wow. The idea “we can give up gold, but not China-Pakistan friendship” is deeply rooted in both countries. Since outbreak of COVID-19, China and Pakistan have gone to each other’s aid. During their Phone calls, H.E Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Imran Khan reached important consensus on epidemic control and the building of community with a shared future between the two countries. President Alvi visited at a critical moment of China’s battle against the epidemic.
Political Parties represented by several participants today also sent us messages of sympathy. China has also provided Pakistan with various supports through party and Government channels. As the old saying goes, “Sturdy grass withstands high winds; true gold stands the test of fire.” Over mutual support during such trying times is ample evidence of China-Pakistan community with a shared future. Together, we have written a touching chapter of China-Pakistan friendship in the new era.
Not long ago, the third volume of Xi Jinping: The Governance of China was officially published. It is a compilation of 92 important remarks and speeches made by the General Secretary from October 2017 to January 2020.
This book represents the latest development of theories on socialism with Chinese characteristics in the newer era that the Chinese Communists have been upholding and developing, and showcases China’s side and proposals for promoting world peace and development. In a keynote speech on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed that we should jointly promote cooperation more high-quality Belt Road and to create opportunities for common prosperity.
Guided by this idea, the CPEC has grown into a signature project of the BRI. Since its launch, the CPEC has achieved remarkable winning and wide results, strong support participation of people from various sectors and at different levels in both China and Pakistan. The CPEC Political Parties Joint Consultation Mechanism established in March marked by the convening of its first conference, has forged consensus on CPEC cooperation among various communities of Pakistan, and promoted steady progress on the ground. Similar mechanisms have been setup between CPC and political parties 2019 in Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Nepal for joint consultation on BRI cooperation, which shows that inter-party cooperation between China and Pakistan has played an exemplary role in Regional and international cooperation. Development of the CPEC has entered a new phase. Facing new opportunities, high quality CPEC cooperation calls for greater commitment and stronger action from both political parties. For that I would like to propose the following.
First as CPEC is a road of development political parties shall for shared prosperity, lead we cooperation between our two countries. With our joint support, tangible progress in CPEC development has been continuously registered, as shown in the notable early harvests. Seventeen projects have been concluded and 16 are under construction. For many consecutive years, China has been Pakistan’s largest trading partner and biggest source of foreign investment. It is our hope that political parties in both countries will continue to make good use of the consultation platform, strengthen coordination and work together to pool more political consensus on high-quality CPEC cooperation. In this way, we will contribute more wisdom, strength and solutions as political parties.
Second, as CPEC is a road to happiness and a better life, we political parties shall work to guide public opinion. Guided by the principle of delivering a better life for all Pakistani people the CPEC has played an important role in creating jobs and improving people’s lives. So far 17 programmes have been drawn up by the two countries covering education, poverty alleviation, agriculture and vocational training, among others, which will help improve the Pakistani economy and people’s wellbeing. We have noted that different regions of Pakistan have different needs for CPEC cooperation. That’s why we always try to keep good communication with Pakistani political parties, to listen to the opinions and try to accommodate to new expectations of the people, so as to consolidate the foundation of public support and goodwill for CPEC cooperation.
Third, as CPEC is a road for stability and security, we political parties shall the protect outcomes of our cooperation. In recent years, Pakistan has become a much safer country with far fewer terror attacks. This shows the role of the CPE Casa stabilizer for security. Meanwhile security in CPEC development would not be guaranteed without the care and support of Pakistani political parties in or out of government at both the central and local levels. Hence we are ready to step up communication with various political parties in Pakistan and contribute ideas to ensure steady progress of CPEC in a safe environment and shoulder the heavy responsibility of safeguarding CPEC.
Fourth, as CPEC is a road for win-win progress, we political parties shall help shape favorable opinions. Some external powers that seek unilateral hegemony and uphold zero-sum game mentality keep stigmatizing and disrupting CPEC cooperation, trying to drive a wedge between China and Pakistan, and frustrating peaceful development in our region. In response, leaders of various Pakistani political parties have condemned such attempts which we highly appreciate. We hope to keep close contact with you to debunk rumors and work together to share CPEC success stories with not only more Pakistani people but also the international community. In this way, we will maintain a sound environment of positive opinion for CPEC development.
Sub-national cooperation is part and parcel of CPEC and holds the key to high-quality CPEC cooperation in the next phase. Jiangxi Province has been a frontrunner in this regard. We fully support stronger fruitful results already achieved. Cooperation between Jiangxi and Pakistan with richer content through more channels. The IDCPC for its part will continue to work through the party channel to build more platforms and offer more help, so as to contribute more to the building of a China-Pakistan community with a shared future. As an old saying goes “true friendship keeps growing despite a distance of a thousand miles.” Cooperation between political parties in China and Pakistan conforms to the call of our times and enjoys a bright future with foreseeable success. We should join hands and take up our historic responsibility, work together to promote CPEC cooperation for shared benefits, and usher in an even greater future for China-Pakistan relations!