Islamabad, JUL 6:  In commemoration of 100 years of Communist Party of China (CPC), the Pakistan China Institute organized a conference at the Serena Hotel, Islamabad.

The conference was part of PCI’s flagship event series, Friends of Silk Road and had a dedicated panel of 6 experts on China, including an exclusive documentary production of PCI on Pakistan-China relations. In addition to this, the ceremony of CPC’s centenary was broadcasted live from China, where President Xi Jinping also made a virtual speech.

All panelists apprised the audience of over 100 people including professionals, journalists, and academicians about the importance of Pakistan-China relations, and expressed unanimous agreement that the dynamic all-weather strategic partnership with Pakistan and China should be further strengthened by ensuring effective people-to-people relations.

This was FOSR’s 15th installation aimed at creating an understanding of CPC, Pakistan-China relations, and highlighting areas of strengthening mutual partnership. This unique dialogue was moderated by PCI’s Executive Director Mustafa Hyder Sayed who talked about the FOSR’s success in working as the gateway between peoples of Pakistan and China. He also highlighted how the relations between both countries have grown from strength to strength during the last 7 decades.

Opening remarks were given by Senator Mushahid Hussain who talked about the rapid development of Gwadar and close coordination between China and Pakistan in key sectors of economy. He apprised the audience that China will never allow any country to oppress it. He also said that in Pakistan there is national consensus that this relationship has to be further strengthened, as there is national consensus on CPEC, and ubiquitous positive sentiment towards China in Pakistan.

Ambassador Naghmana Hashmi talked about how Pakistan and China have always stood by each other’s side in trying times, especially the coronavirus pandemic. She said that China’s assistance by sending medical assistance and other pandemic materials to Pakistan was registered by international media as well , and the world recognized the two iron brothers’ unique relationship. She highlighted the need to view China in a different light, not dictated by the West, primarily because of its contribution to the world. She highlighted that China’s ability to develop vaccines speedily demonstrates the strength of their research, as half of the world has benefited from Chinese produced vaccines such as Sinopharm and Sinovac

While commenting on Pakistan-China relations, Dr. Abid Suleri, Executive Director of Sustainable Development Policy Institute said “China does not help you catch the fish, it teaches you how to catch the fish.” He specifically talked about the thousands of students who are currently enrolled in various Chinese universities. He attributed China’s unparalleled economic growth to innovative, coordinated, green, and inclusive measures. He labeled this relationship unlike any other in the world, and said that Pakistan-China relations do not come with a prescription.  He talked about Chinese contribution towards fighting the coronavirus pandemic by distributing covid vaccines free of cost.

Dr. Moeed Pirzada, CEO and Editor of Global Village talked about the Board and Road Initiative (BRI), and how this project has been able to manifest its flagship project, CPEC deep within all economic sectors of Pakistan. He, therefore, labelled CPEC as Pakistan’s launchpad into the world economy, and said that the project’s bilateral nature is what has further strengthened Pakistan-China relations. He also lauded Pakistani authorities in handling Western criticism on the country’s relationship with China which has significantly improved over the years.

After keynote addresses, CPC’s centenary celebrations were broadcasted live from Beijing. During this, President Xi Jinping addressed representatives of all countries, and talked about CPC’s success in eradicating poverty from the country. He also highlighted that CPC works with peoples of the world, a key feature that has positively contributed to the development of China. President Xi stressed that globally, all countries are becoming intertwined, interdependent, and interconnected. President Xi also said that the CPC has always connected Chinese people’s future with that of the rest of the world. He also pledged support to the international community to develop global connectivity under the BRI to ensure every nation benefits from China’s development. He also added that the CPC is willing to give more Chinese solutions to the countries to alleviate all people from poverty. Moreover, he asserted that on the path to development of mankind, no country should be left impoverished. All countries are equally entitled to progress and development.

During the conference Prime Minister Imran Khan also addressed world leaders. In his keynote address, PM Khan congratulated CPC, and hoped that this summit will bring a new dimension to global cooperation. He apprised the audience that CPC was created with the aim to ensure liberation and make sure that China wins its rightful place in the world. He also talked about CPC’s success in alleviating poverty, working for nation building, and introducing anti- corruption policies which he says are inspirational for Pakistan.  PM Khan also said that Pakistan supports China’s efforts to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development, and enhance world order.

 The event lasted for 5 hours and was attended by 100 people including students, journalists from Pakistan and China, academicians, leading diplomats, and researchers.