By: Syed Ali Nawaz Gilani
The history of prosperous nations around the world will reveal that there success was only possible after a long struggle and resilience of their countrymen led by able leaders. If we study the political roadmap, way of life and especially the economy of the People’s Republic of China one would know that this great nation has started its journey from scratch and aims beyond skies as the upper limit.
Think about what China was 70 years ago, essentially a country that had fought its way through two wars and was on its knees and battered – but in these 70 years it emerged as the second biggest economy in the world and a major global player. China’s transformation from a poor agrarian society into one of the world’s most powerful economies is nothing short of miracle. China’s reforms have completely overhauled its economy, urbanised society and improved living standards.
As the People’s Republic celebrates the 70th anniversary of modern China; let us take a journey of this nation as to how it has progressed over the past seven decades.
In the past 70 years China has witnessed tremendous progress with the country becoming the world’s second largest economy wherein lives of around two billion people have significantly improved. While the integration between China and the rest of the world has never been closer than today, the country has entered a new era with a mega plan for turning into a great modern socialist country in all respects. To attain this they have adhered to the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and also have kept reforming with an open mind.
As the second revolution of modern China, reform and opening up has both profoundly changed China and greatly influenced the world, the country has not only developed itself, but also contributed to the global well-being. Under the able leadership of President Xi Jinping it is striving to build up a modern economic system, deepen the supply-side structural reform and speed up the innovation-driven development strategy.
Not only this the Modern China is carrying out a number of major measures, including significantly broadening market access, creating a more attractive investment environment, strengthening protection of intellectual property rights, and expanding imports.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a momentous step by China to expand opening-up and external cooperation. This initiative is unfolding day by day and has the vision of linking China`s economy to the rest of the World. In Pakistan the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is regarded as a game changer that is going to bring economic stability in the country and generate employment to the people especially the skilled youth of the country. With the expected addition of Saudi Arabia as a third strategic partner in CPEC, it has all the potential to revive the socio-economic status of the underprivileged masses.
All of us know that China has been Pakistan all-weather friend and the closest of strategic partner which has always stood the test of time. The relationship has continued to attain new heights in the recent years after the benefits of CPEC started unfolding and shaping up to make it a flagship project for both the countries.
The modern society and state that is emerging in China bears the indelible imprint of China’s historical experience of its patterns of philosophy and religion, and of its social and political thought. These themes are discussed in order to understand China in the twenty-first century and as a great world civilization that developed along lines different from those of the Mediterranean.
The modern period of China explores China’s transformation from empire to nation; its dramatic encounter with the era of imperialism; the rise of alternative models for a modern China; and the prospects for Chinese leadership in the 21st century.
The ancient philosopher Confucius has become something of a Chinese brand. The country has opened hundreds of schools worldwide bearing his name to teach Chinese culture and language. Every year, Chinese officials and family members gather in front of the grand halls and ancient cypress trees of Confucius’ home to celebrate his birth, now 2,558 years ago. Attendants in embroidered robes perform ritual prostrations, and students recite Confucian texts.
Confucianism was at the heart of what made China the soft-power powerhouse of Asia for centuries. Even in countries like Japan, Korea and Vietnam are willingly adopted Confucian culture, as well as Chinese forms of government, art and literature. As study reveals that China has established more than 200 “Confucius Institutes” since 2002 in about 60 countries.
It is an agreed fact that one of the strongest force of soft-power is competition in sports; that is why China was doing all out efforts to host the Beijing Olympics and once it got the opportunity it made a huge positive impact on the world; despite antagonism from the western countries especially the United States of America.
An opinion poll done in Asia suggests that an overwhelming majority of people has approved the China’s leadership which is an acceptance of their policies to change the economic roadmap of this region to the better; the situation is different in the west though.
To sum it up, Confucius message on soft power was clear: “Lead by moral authority, not force. Keep your own house in order, and others will follow your example.” China is perfectly following this model and the country is now even more influential on the basis of its booming economy, diplomacy and culture ties around the world.
China Pakistan diplomatic relations have entered 68 years. Spread over more than half a century these relations have been ever growing in terms of defence, economy, and diplomacy. China has now turned into a giant economic power striding fast on a path to become a functional world power. Recently published a famous American scholar’s book “who ruled the world” became ample testimony that after completion of Gwadar seaport China will be able to expand its trade from the coast of Malacca to the Gulf of Eden; and the sea will turn into an economic highway for emerging powers which is now being used as personal lake by America.
An overview of world scenario, particularly in this region reveals that America and NATO bypassing Russia are busy in extending their influence in Eastern Europe. On the other hand they have been preparing China against India. But now the scene is changed. Now china has established ‘The Bank for International Infrastructure and Development” further developing economies of the world. This Bank has dented the hold of IMF and World Bank as Australia and England being fed up with America’s Veto Power in the affairs of IMF and World Bank, have joined this newly established Bank. China has developed a system to make independent and self-reliant poor states of Africa; but the most recent and one of the wonders of the world is “China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is going to make Pakistan an empowered country of the region.
Given the diverse opinions, all are agreed that this giant leap will make China a superpower. His Excellency President of Peoples’ Republic of China visited Pakistan last year and announced a huge investment of 46 billion US dollars for CPEC. KPK and Xing Kiang were declared as friend region in 2008 and similarly Aromchi, Peshawar, Kashghar and Abbottabad were declared as twin cities. Malalkand power project is a gift for people of KPK whereas Silk Road in the name of CPEC is going to make this region a hub of trade and economic activities. Similarly manufacturing of JF Thunder aircraft in Pakistan is a living example of faithful friendship.
Inspite of so many changes in Government in both the countries their relations and friendship have never seen any weaning. One vision that after 35 years China – Pakistan will be celebrating centennial Jubilee of the friendship and China would have become a super power of the world. All this will lend China in an enviable image in Islamic world. Let it be Middle East, Afghanistan, Kashmir or any other dispute China has ever supported Pakistan. All ebbs and flows during the last 68 years, Sino – Pak friendship has never seen anything displeasing in their relations. In the light of forgoing it would be high time now to venture on educational and cultural fronts. Chinese universities and training institution should attract Pakistani students. Chinese universities should establish in cities of Pakistan. Similarly Chinese cultural and language centres should be established in Pakistan. These steps will find maximum acceptance level as Chinese products from tyres to different machines have made their way in every home in Pakistan.
In May, 2016 China railed a goods train to Nepal which is a message to all world that China is linking the whole region of south Asia and it is going to supersede even European Union. It is also a message to India that it should abandon the policy of conflict and confrontation and explore the potential for the well being of its people. Malaysia is also negotiating its oceanic matters with China which would be a milestone for development of Malaysia.
Another encouraging aspect in Sino – Pak relations is appearing in shape of China Study Centres in University of Peshawar and other universities of the country. China has announced to give 8 modern submarines to Pakistan which is the biggest defence deal ever conducted by any country with Pakistan.
Similarly Pakistan – China Friendship Association (PCFA) is working for the last 4 decades to foster Sino – Pak relations through cultural, Social, education, people to people exchange. Under the banner of PCFA, number of exchange programs have been made and delegations from both the countries visited each other and arranged different cultural and intellectual events in the countries.
(The Writer is Secretary-General Pakistan-China Friendship Association Khyber Chapter & President Radio China Listener’s Club Peshawar. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org)