China Advises Pakistan To Focus On Political Stability, Infrastructure And Education

Islamabad: China has offered Pakistanis advice for putting their country back on the right track by focusing on stability, long-term planning, infrastructure development and education.

China’s leadership is keen to make the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPC) a success. They expect it to become a role model for the ‘one-belt, one-road’ initiative which would eventually link more than 60 countries together.

In order for CPEC to be a success the Chinese leadership has urged the political leaders of Pakistan to unite and have a consensus. This was the purpose of the eight days tour of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) delegation to China which was led by journalist-turned-politician and former diplomat, Sherry Rehman and the 18-member delegation

PPP and CPC have exchanged views with senior Chinese dignitaries on issues related with CPEC during the tour.

Zheng Xiaosong the vice minister of International Department of the Communist Party of China said that, “We enthusiastically believe that CPEC will be successful and becomes a role model for the one-belt, one road (initiative). We want to CPEC to succeed, symbolising our enduring friendship.”

China believes that successful execution of CPEC would have equal benefits to the people of both countries.  CPEC is a short- to- medium-term plan which stretches over a period of 10 years and the long-term plan is also being worked on by both the countries said sources.

Su Ge the head of China Institute of International Studies (CIIS) who is an important think tank of China said that, “The CPEC is early harvest; you should endeavor for a bumper crop.” Message from the Chinese side has been clear that the initial projects get executed and these would bring in more Chinese investment in Pakistan. Many industries in China are in surplus and investors are looking for opportunities for investments in other countries. Pakistan can get these investments because of the deep friendship between the two countries.

Chinese officials however have expressed concern over political polarization in Pakistan over CPEC. Many people in China are still concerned over the security issues in Pakistan and some Chinese officials expressed these in an informal chat.

Zheng said that, “Most important concern of Chinese investors is security. When media reports any (terrorist) attack in Pakistan, families of these investors ask them not to go (not to invest in Pakistan). Some countries will exploit this to attack CPEC.” This he said about the overall law and order situation and not on security of Chinese workers.

Pakistani delegation has tried to assure China that they’ll provide the best security they can to China. Sherry Rehman also diplomatically conveyed to the Chinese side that their investors would be getting unprecedented returns on their investment.

Chinese leadership advised their Pakistani friends to put their country on the road to development through political stability, clear direction, long-term planning, infrastructure development and education.

Zheng said, “You should have a clear and right direction. We have five-year plans, but we do not plan for short periods only. We have 50-year plan (in place as well). Whether you are in power or not, this is how you should plan it. The second element is infrastructure. If you want to get rich build roads.”

Zheng also emphasized on education and said that, “Then comes education.” He said. “If you don’t have education, you cannot build your country. If you invest in it (education) now, you will see it bearing fruit after 10 years.”