Ambassador: concept of “Community of Shared Future for Mankind” visionary
Note: The following is a transcript of an interview with Pakistanis Ambassador to China Masood Khalid on China’s economic development on the occasion of the ongoing 19th Party Congress.
Pakistanis Ambassador to China Masood Khalid [File Photo: huanqiu.com]
CRI:Your excellency, speaking of the 19th National Congress of Communist Party of China, this year also marks the 5th year of your tenure in China. So are there any specific achievements in China that impress you the most in the past five years?
Ambassador Khalid: The 19th Party Congress is an important event which held every five years, so we are all looking forward to deliberations which will take place. Of course there is a lot of information, such as what priorities will be set for China for the next 5 years. China has made great progress in the last five years since the last congress was held. And China has maintained its stable growth rate, China's economy has expanded and China's economic outreach has expanded, especially the initiative of President Xi Jinping, Belt and Road Initiative, unleashed a new momentum for regional and global economic development. So we are hoping that China will continue to march forward. Of course, as you can see global economy is under pressure and not only pressures but also you can see global economy has contracted, so that has also of course affected the economy of China. But so far, China has maintained its steady and stable economic growth rate. It has launched new initiatives to help developing countries. China's vision of becoming a moderately prosperous society in the next few years is very much welcomed by the international community. All in all we are looking forward to how this congress will chart a new road map for China's future development.
CRI: You've mentioned that China has dedicated a lot of efforts to its economic growth. So what's your take on the importance of China's steady economic growth to the world?
Ambassador Khalid: Today's world is interconnected and interdependent. For example, if you look at China-US relations, economic relations are so much interdependent on each other. So it is extremely important that China's economy continues on this growth path, so that, there are no major fluctuations in the global economy. So China's economy is not only linked with American economy. China's economy is linked with European economy. China's Economy is linked with Southeast Asian country's economy. So it is a global interdependence. So I think it is very important that China maintains its steady growth and it has been successful to achieve that so far. And I am confident that Chinese people are diligent, hard-working, there is a good planning in China, good forward planning in China actually. So I am sure that China will continue to march forward on this part.
CRI: Some say that the contribution of China is proposing a concept of building a community of shared future for mankind. It is the Chinese prescription for the uncertain world. Then how do you see China's role in today's world? Not only economically but also politically speaking.
Ambassador Khalid: The world is facing quite a bit of turmoil and uncertainties. We are facing multiple problems. And no single country can handle or tackle these problems on its own. So there has to be a joint effort. There has to be a collective effort. Countries in the world have to at least converge on some fundamental points, on some fundamental issues how to tackle for example the problem of climate change, the refugees who have gone to Europe, the problem of terrorism and extremism which has affected almost every country. So how does the world handle these challenges? It is only through common effort and cooperation that we can face these challenges. It is important that we resolve concerns with coexistence rather than confrontation and conflict. China’s role in global politics, in global economy has increased and will continue to increase. Now China is the 2nd largest economy, as I said, China is a (permanent) member of UN Security Council, a participant in important regional blocs and regional associations. And China is an important political power, important political player. So all in all, China's influence has increased globally and I think that this concept which President Xi Jinping has advocated – a common community of shared future, community of shared destiny. I think this is really, I must say, a visionary thought.
CRI: The flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative, CPEC, has made progress in projects such as energy, infrastructure. Some say we have already entered an early harvest stage of CPEC and there are more projects on the way. How do you see the CPEC and the Belt and Road Initiative to the region and also to the world?
Ambassador Khalid: I think Belt and Road Initiative is important and beneficial to all the countries. It is an open offer by China, because it is a path for development, path for prosperity, path for the well-beings of the people. So when you improve connectivity, communication, trade and commerce, you are basically contributing to the well-being of societies, you are promoting people to people connectivity with cultural contexts, cultural interaction. So I think the Belt and Road Initiative as I have said many times it is a far-reaching, visionary, futuristic initiative, which will benefit not only China but the countries which become part of it. Now as far as Pakistan is concerned, of course Pakistan and China are good old friends and we have stood by each other on all occasions. We have convergence on views on issues which are important. Regionally, globally, we cooperate with each other on multilateral fronts, multilateral forums. I think, we have proved overtime that we are trusted friends of each other. So Pakistan is a partner with China in this Belt and Road Initiative. And you know China-Pakistan economic corridor is a flagship project and good progress have been made on this China-Pakistan economic corridor. We are of course a proactive partner in this initiative and we will continue to be so.
CRI:Like President Xi Jinping said China is a responsible power. So talking about the responsibility, some actions of China won applauses; some actions attract critics such as investing heavily in the developing nations. As the all-weather strategic partner of China, how does Pakistan see these criticisms?
Ambassador Khalid: You see, one should not be deterred by criticism as long as one is clear about the objectives and about the vision. And the vision of the Belt and Road Initiative is positive, not negative. No.2 China’s history, it has never colonized and never meant aggression. This is a fact of history. So I think this kind of criticism is unfounded. China is helping the world, especially developing countries. And this is wildly welcomed and appreciated by developing countries. So I think this kind of criticism is not just, not fair and not valid. Because Chinese leadership has also made it clear that China wishes to focus on its own economic and social stability as well. China is still a developing country. And China has to continue its efforts to achieve the targets of national development which it has set for the next 5, 10, 15 years. So China will continue to move forward in that direction in a prudent and wise way. And as the history bears out, China never went out to invade other countries. China never colonized. So I think this apprehension is totally groundless. As far as Pakistan is concerned, there is a complete consensus in Pakistan across the political spectrum, across all regions and provinces that China is our most trusted friend and partner. And the friendship with China is a cornerstone of Pakistani foreign policies. So there is a complete consensus of that. There is a complete support all across Pakistan regions and provinces to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. And I'm sure that you noticed when the last joint conference on CPEC took place, our delegation came here. All the political representatives of the provinces of Pakistan were here. So that was basically a manifestation of this consensus, the solidarity which we have with China and the high priority and importance we attach to our friendship with China. There are no two opinions as far as friendship with China is concerned in Pakistan. And lastly, I would like to wish the great Chinese nation, Chinese people. My best wishes. Best wishes of Pakistan on this important occasion. I’m sure that China will continue in the direction of peace and progress. And I think this is the right course, this is the right approach, shared prosperity, common stake, and future of mankind, common prosperity, peaceful neighborhood. China has made great progress so far which the world admires. I’m sure that China’s future is very promising and I extend my very best wishes.