Comment by Syed Ali Nawaz Gilani
A special Investiture Ceremony was held at Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing, on Thursday the 19th November, 2020. Pakistan’s Ambassador Mr. Moin-ul-Haque, on behalf of the President of Pakistan, conferred civil award of Pakistan upon “Hilal-i-Pakistan” Mr. Song Tao in recognition of his outstanding services towards Pakistan and strengthening of Sino-Pakistan relations. Mr. Song Tao is the Minister of International Department of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC) Central Committee, and a member of 19th CPC Central committee. He has been a great friend of Pakistan and an ardent advocate of Pakistan-China friendship.
In his capacity as Minister IDCPC by leading a team of four Vice Ministers & two Assistant Ministers, Mr. Song Tao has been instrumental in promoting the sustainable and healthy development of Pakistan-China exchange in the spheres of people-to-people contacts and party-to-party linkages. Mr. Song Tao has played a key role in fostering greater mutual understanding between the CPC and various political parties of Pakistan, thereby contributing to consolidating the all-around social consensus on the Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership and jointly building a closer Pakistan-China Community of Shared Future in the New Era. He was also the force behind the strengthen political support for realizing CPEC’s potential as a game-changer for Pakistan’s socio-economic development. The special Investiture ceremony was also attended by the IDCPC Vise Minister Mr. Guoyeshou a part from senior officials of International Department of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC) and from Pakistan Embassy, Minister & Deputy Head of Mission Mr. Ahmed Farooq, Defense Attache Brig. Shahid Amir Afsar, Counsellor & HOC Mr. Naeem Cheema.
The IDCPC since 1951, under the direct leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), has seen a continuous expansion of its international exchanges and communications serving the key tasks of the Party in different periods. The aims of its work is to serve China’s reform and open-up policy and the socialist modernization drive as well as the overall strategy of state diplomacy, which help consolidate the Party’s position in office and contribute to the building of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the fact well acknowledged and proven over the period of decades. The CPC associates with not only the communist parties and other left-wing parties of the world as it originally did but also national democratic parties of the developing countries and political parties and statesmen of various ideologies and natures such as socialist, labor and conservative parties in the developed countries as well as their international organizations as it later expanded. Up till now, the CPC has established contacts and exchanges with more than 600 political parties and organizations in over 160 countries, most of which are either parties in office or parties participating in government. Gratifying results have been achieved which can be described as “making friends in the four corners of the earth and finding kith and kin across the oceans”.
IDCPC’s main missions are to carry out theoretical, strategic,
comprehensive and policy oriented studies on international situation, world
political parties, socialist movement, contemporary capitalism and other
important global issues; to coordinate the research efforts within the
Department and conduct academic exchanges and cooperation with outside
institutions; to hold press conference and publicity activities over the Party’s
international work. The office has a professional team with a broad scope of
research areas and appropriately structured expertise background.
IDCPC through eight (8) Bureaus looking after relations and
exchanges with political parties and organizations across the globe,
while IDCPC Information Center is commissioned to collect and analyze
information on international issues and political parties in the world. As the
International Department is a functional organ of the Central Committee of the
CPC responsible for the Party’s international work. By party-to-party relations
and the advantage of political party contacts, IDCPC have played a very
positive role in establishing, developing and consolidating China’s relations
with foreign countries. The IDCPC, for decades, coordinated with China’s
foreign diplomacy. They have a unique role in facilitating the progress of
healthy and stable state-to-state relations when political instability and
frequent change of governments happen in some countries. As an “accelerator,”
party-to-party relations have facilitated the progress of state relations.
Party-to-party relations cover both the party in office and the party not in
power, established or up and coming people. CPC’s international relations have
elevated CPC’s governing ability. As a party in power, with over 70 million
members and leading a country of 1.3 billion people, the CPC is facing, among
other tasks, a mission how to keep shoulder to shoulder with the changing international and domestic situations, and how to improve its leading and
IDCPC also play its vital role during COVID 19 by providing in shortest time coronavirus testing kits to friendly countries across the globe , sent planeloads of ventilators, masks and medics. The Chinese President, Xi Jinping, who is also Secretary-General of CPC has offered comforting words to global leaders like telling the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, that “sunshine comes after the storm”, As the coronavirus outbreak spreads and countries struggle to respond, China has positioned itself as a leader and benefactor in public health, building the kind of soft power Beijing needs at a time of intensifying US-China rivalry and scrutiny of Chinese influence around the world. In Pakistan, IDCPC also provided complimentary COVID 19 protection masks and necessary equipments like body suits PPEs to all Political Parties, NGOs. In this connection the role of Mr. Bayazeed Kasi -PTI’s advisor on cooperation with CPC with active coordination of IDCPC is highly appreciated.
No doubt, this is the fact that the International Department
has so far delivered much of what is expected of it. Its brand of party-based
diplomacy has assumed a prominence that is unseen in any other countries’
diplomatic practices. Under President Xi Jinping leadership party-based
diplomacy has indeed grown to be an important tool of China’s diplomacy.
Moreover, Xi is also emphasizing how party based diplomacy can play a key role
in explaining China’s policies and promoting China’s image and soft power to
foreign elites. This unique practice of party-based diplomacy has perhaps given
China the advantage to cultivate friendships and elite networks of all sorts.
Looking forward, while much of what has been discussed in these lines
about party-based diplomacy will continue under the leadership of Xi Jinping,
there could also be another growing role for the International Department in
the future. This is the training of foreign party cadres, especially in
developing countries. Xi is increasingly becoming more confident in promoting
the developmental experiences of China to the developing world and in offering
the so-called ‘China solutions’ to complex problems in the world. The growing
and diversifying mandate of party-based diplomacy will ensure that the
International Department continues to be a critical actor in Chinese foreign
policy. (The writer is Secretary-General Pakistan China Friendship Association
& President Radio China Listener’s Club. His email is email@example.com)