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Wednesday July 17, 2024

Internal stability must for any nation to develop: Chinese minister

Liu Jianchao says security threats are main hazards disturbing CPEC cooperation

By Ag App & News Desk
June 22, 2024
Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC) Liu Jianchao addressing the event in Islamabad, on June 21, 2024. — Screengrab/GeoNews
Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC) Liu Jianchao addressing the event in Islamabad, on June 21, 2024. — Screengrab/GeoNews

ISLAMABAD: Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC) Liu Jianchao Friday advised Pakistani political leadership to shun their differences as “internal stability is imperative for any nation to develop”.

“In a turbulent world of rising uncertainties, stability within the country is essential for development. Faced with complex internal and external challenges, Pakistan is navigating carefully through turbulent rivers,” he added.

The Chinese minister made these remarks as he co-chaired, along with Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar, the third meeting of the Pakistan-China Joint Consultative Mechanism (JCM) of the political parties on CPEC.

All mainstream political parties of Pakistan displayed exemplary consensus to back the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with the leaders reiterating their unwavering commitment to further strengthen bilateral relationship between Pakistan and China by thwarting all nefarious designs.

Besides Senate Chairman Yusuf Raza Gilani and National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, senior leadership of all major political parties attended the event including Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, MQMs Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Maulana Fazlur Rehman of JUIF, Hina Rabbani Khar of PPP, Senator Barrister Ali Zafar and Raoof Hasan of PTI, Munazza Hassan of Istehkam Pakistan Party, National Party’s Senator Jan Muhammad, senior politicians Afrasiab Khattak and others.

The Chinese official said there could be sustainable development only when all political parties in a country join hands to ensure political and social stability. “And for all these years, China has always been striving to maintain a good balance of reform, development, and stability — each of the three fundamentals is indispensable,” he added.

The minister noted that over the years, CPEC boosted Pakistan’s economic and social development. However, he added, more efforts needed to be made, especially when it comes to security.

“We are ready to build the upgraded version of CPEC [...] we need to improve security and business environment. Security threats are the main hazards disturbing CPEC cooperation,” he highlighted.

In the case of Pakistan, he said, the primary factor shaking the confidence of Chinese investors is the security situation. “Without security, the business environment cannot really improve, which can undermine development in the long run.”

At the same time, he also appreciated the Pakistani security forces for their services in this regard. Moving on, the senior official said that due to the wholehearted support of people of both nations, Pakistan and China have become “iron friends”. “Public support is the bedrock of the China-Pakistan relationship,” he added. However, voicing fears, he said the mutual affinity between the peoples of the countries is still not commensurate with the iron-clad friendship of the countries.

“In particular, there’s a rising risk of Western social media which has a huge impact on the younger generation, eroding the foundation of the China-Pakistan friendship,” Jianchao said. He said the Chinese government was ready to promote exchanges between the youth, media, think tanks, academics, and local governments, and help the public understand the friendship better.

In his remarks, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Dar reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to enhance people-to-people linkages with China to deepen the sentiments of mutual respect, trust and understanding between the two countries.

Dar said Pakistan-China friendship is a relationship of the past, present, and future. He said the strategic trust between the nations is unshakeable and nothing could undo it. He said the meeting was a manifestation of a shared commitment to preserve and protect the relationship from the vagaries of national, regional, and international politics. Dar said there is complete unanimity amongst all political parties in Pakistan on CPEC’s importance for Pakistan’s economic growth and sustainable development.

The deputy prime minister said CPEC was not merely a symbol of Pakistan-China friendship. It was a shining emblem of a new vision for international cooperation. He said the people of Pakistan would never forget China’s support in crucial times.

NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq said CPEC had not only transformed Pakistan’s infrastructure but also significantly contributed to its socioeconomic development. “All political parties of Pakistan speak with one voice in complete solidarity with CPEC as a ‘game-changer’,” he added. “The bond between the people of the two nations has successfully withstood the test of time,” he added.

In his address, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said all political parties were sitting at the same table today, proving that the political leadership of both countries were on the same page. To ensure progress of CPEC, Iqbal stressed the need to work together. The exchange of dialogue between political delegations will create harmony, he added.

The Communist Party of China should also work on boosting its relations with the politicians of Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan, the minister noted.

In his speech, JUIF Ameer Fazlur Rehman said he was grateful to China for supporting Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. He said it was his desire to make the friendship between the countries beneficial for people. “There is a national consensus on CPEC in Pakistan,” Fazl said.

Hina Rabbani Khar, a top PPP leader and a former foreign minister, said all political parties were on the same page when it comes to CPEC. “The role of Pakistan and China in the global scenario is important. China has made immense progress in science and technology,” she noted. Khar also welcomed all political parties’ participation in the event.

CPEC, PTI’s Senator Ali Zafar, said is an expression of the vision of Pakistan-China friendship. “Friendship with China is the main pillar of our foreign policy,” he added.

Senate Chairman Yusuf Raza Gilani said all political parties were committed to CPEC as it promoted collaboration in health, education, information technology and other sectors besides its contribution to addressing the power woes of the country. He urged both sides to work together for a green and resilient future besides strengthening partnerships in education and tourism sectors.

Minister for Federal Education Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Munazza Hassan called for an enhanced focus on education, information technology and artificial intelligence to harness youth’s potential.

Chairman Pakistan-China Institute Mushahid Hussain Sayed reiterated the political parties’ commitment to take the CPEC-II forward. He also proposed formation of rapid response information system to counter fake news aimed at undermining the CPEC and Pak-China relationship.

National Party’s Senator Jan Muhammad called for technical training of Balochistan’s youth, while Afrasiab Khattak cautioned against designs of the hegemonic forces in the region trying to disrupt peace.

This followed an interactive session marking the suggestions by the participating leaders with the majority emphasising a greater focus on the parliamentary exchanges to boost people-to-people linkages.

Separately, Liu Jianchao called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, here on Friday.

The PM briefed the Chinese delegation about the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), which was established through a ‘Whole of the Government’ approach with an objective to attract investment in key areas and it had evolved into a useful forum offering one-window facility to domestic and foreign investors.

The PM said it was a matter of great satisfaction that there was complete political consensus in both countries on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

In his remarks, Liu Jianchao stressed that Pakistan and China were iron brothers, strategic partners and most-trusted friends. He emphasised that China accorded a special place to Pakistan in its foreign policy and would continue to support Pakistan’s economic development and jointly work for the upgraded version of CPEC.

In a separate meeting with Ishaq Dar, Minister Liu Jianchao said China accorded a special place to Pakistan in its foreign policy and desired to strengthen the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership. He expressed satisfaction at the steady pace of CPEC and said China would extend full cooperation to Pakistan for the timely implementation of all ongoing and new projects. He also lauded the political parties of Pakistan for their steadfast support to CPEC and China-Pakistan friendship.

The two sides agreed to maintain the momentum of high-level engagements and to further enhance communication on important regional and global issues.

Minister Liu Jianchao also met Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir at General Headquarters and discussed with him matters of mutual interest, including regional peace and stability, and reviewed progress on CPEC projects, an Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) news release said.

The COAS reaffirmed Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to the strategic partnership with China and pledged full support for the successful implementation of CPEC.

Liu Jianchao highlighted that he was visiting Pakistan as a follow up of the successful meetings between the leadership of the two countries in China. He emphasised the significance of the longstanding brotherly relations between the two nations and expressed satisfaction with the progress achieved on CPEC, reiterating China’s commitment to its timely completion.

The visiting official also commended Pakistan’s efforts in maintaining regional peace and stability, acknowledging the support of the Pakistan armed forces in providing security to Chinese nationals and projects in Pakistan.