(28th December 2020, Chinese Embassy in Islamabad)
Your Excellency Mr. Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan,
Your Excellency Mr. Mushahid Hussain Syed, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee of Pakistan,
Your Excellency Mr. Azam Khan Swati, Federal Minister for Railways of Pakistan,
Your Excellency Dr. Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission of Pakistan,
Your Excellency Mr. Moin ul Haque, Ambassador of Pakistan to China,
Your Excellency Mr. Mudassir Tipu, Director General (China), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan,
Your Excellency Mr. Zheng Qingdong, President and Editor-in-Chief of Economic Daily,
Your Excellency Mr. Tian Yuhong, Executive Secretary of the All-China Journalists Association,
Your Excellency Miss Zhao Qiao, Director, Department of Urdu, CMG Asian & African Languages Programing Center,
Your Excellency Mr. Ni Siyi, Deputy Director, Office of Editor-in-Chief, Xinhua News Agency,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to attend the 6th China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Media Forum. Thank you, Chairman Sanjrani, for attending the opening ceremony of the Forum and made a warm speech. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, I wish this media forum a big success. I would also like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to the participants today and all the friends in China and Pakistan for your efforts and contribution to promoting China-Pakistan relations and the CPEC.
As an important pilot project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and a demonstration project of China-Pakistan Cooperation, the CPEC plays a significant role in promote the in-depth development of the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership and high quality growth of the Belt and Road Initiative. Today, I am glad to see so many friends gathered online to discuss and brainstorm suggestions for the BRI and CPEC. It reinforces my confidence that the CPEC has been highly valued and sincerely safeguarded by all sectors of society in China and Pakistan as it meets the people’s aspiration, wins the people’s hearts and benefits the people’s livelihood.
Media as the expositor, promoter and disseminator of CPEC, plays a unique and important role. In recent years, China and Pakistan have created a series of mechanisms and platforms for cultural and media cooperation. Under the framework of the Joint Cooperation Committee of CPEC, a joint working group on international cooperation and coordination has been set up to encourage the media and think tanks of the two countries to strengthen cooperation and provide intellectual support for the construction of CPEC. It has just concluded the second meeting last Friday. Both sides agreed to encourage media, film industry, and publishing industry to enhance the CPEC-related cooperation, and welcome think tanks, experts and academia to strengthen the exchanges bilaterally and multilaterally in this regard.
Since its inception in 2015, CPEC Media Forum has brought together the governments, business communities, media, think tanks and other sectors of China and Pakistan to focus on the construction of the CPEC, tell stories of China-Pakistan cooperation, and spread the spirit of mutual support, openness, equality, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, making important contribution to promoting the heart to heart exchanges of the two peoples and economic and social development of China and Pakistan.
With the joint efforts of the two governments, enterprises and all sectors of society, the CPEC cooperation has achieved fruitful results and made great contributions to Pakistan’s national construction and regional interconnection. As shown in the opening documentary, with the joint efforts of China and Pakistan, CPEC is showing strong resilience and vitality against the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the year, the CPEC projects have not stopped working nor laid off any staff. It has strictly followed the COVD-19 prevention and control requirements and made new substantial progress. The employees of the two countries working on CPEC projects have worked hand in hand to overcome the difficulties and written a new moving story of China-Pakistan friendship. The CPEC have put into practice that the Belt and Road Initiative is the road of cooperation, health, recovery and growth.
Ladies and gentlemen,
A few weeks ago, the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee deliberated and adopted the proposals for formulating the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035, laying out a grand blueprint for China’s development in the coming period. China will grasp the new stage of development scientifically, firmly implement the new development concept. China has actively build a new development pattern with domestic circulation as the main body, while the domestic and international dual circulations mutually promoting each other. Under the new development pattern, China’s market potential will be fully stimulated and the door of opening to the outside world will be further opened. The high-quality development of China’s economy will certainly provide important opportunities for the development of the countries along BRI, including Pakistan, and other countries all over the world.
In the next 5 years, China will promote the high-quality development of BRI, advance CPEC projects with high standards. As an important pilot project of BRI, CPEC should seize the opportunity to take the lead in achieving high-quality development and benefit more from the new development pattern of the ‘Dual Circulations’. Based on successful construction and operation of existing projects, we will tilt resources towards industry, agriculture, science and technology, and people’s livelihood, so that the achievements of CPEC will benefit more ordinary people in Pakistan.
In the next 5 years, China will steadfastly expand all-around opening up and explore more opportunities for Pakistan to expand its exports to China. With a population of 1.4 billion and a middle-income group of more than 400 million, China’s domestic retail market is expected to exceed 6 trillion US dollars this year, and its cumulative import volume is expected to exceed 22 trillion US dollars in the next 10 years. After the entry into force of the second phase of CPFTA this year, the proportion of zero-tariff products between the two countries has increased to 75%. This is conducive to Pakistan’s expansion of exports to China, promoting economic recovery and resolving the issue of trade imbalance in the course of development.
In the next 5 years, China will uphold the concept of openness, cooperation, solidarity and win-win spirit to help Pakistan achieve its development. We appreciate the efforts of Pakistan’s government to build ‘Naya Pakistan’, and will deepen exchanges with Pakistan on governance, share experience in poverty alleviation and reduction, help Pakistan develop industrial manufacturing, attract more foreign investment, promote the alignment of development strategies between the two countries, and work together to build a Closer China-Pakistan Community of Shared Future in the new era.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The CPEC is a valuable asset shared by the two peoples and it is worth cherishing. It has also created huge potential for media cooperation. I hope that the media of China and Pakistan will play a more active role as a bridge, tell true stories of China-Pakistan cooperation, and consolidate the all-weather friendship between the iron brothers. I hope you can continue to adhere to the principle of objectiveness and fairness, use fact-based reports and comments to expose and refute lies, and show the world the truth of win-win cooperation and high-quality development in CPEC in our common journey.
Finally, I wish the Sixth CPEC Media Forum a complete success!
Chin-Pakistan Dosti Zindabad!
Thank you all.