- Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani made these remarks at the 6th China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Media Forum.
- The forum was jointly organised by PCI and CEN in cooperation with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Pakistan.
- The forum was also addressed by the Railways Minister, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission plus Ambassadors of both countries.
ISLAMABAD: Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, on Monday said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has achieved significant milestones through joint efforts of the governments, enterprises, and people of both countries, stressing that it has now become a “household name” in Pakistan.
Sanjrani made these remarks at the 6th China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Media Forum, where he was invited as the chief guest.
The forum was jointly organised by the Pakistan-China Institute (PCI) and China Economic Net (CEN) in cooperation with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Pakistan.
It was conducted as an annual event in Beijing and Islamabad in alternate years. Due to COVID-19, this year’s forum was held virtually and was themed “Post-epidemic China-Pakistan Media Cooperation”.
The forum was also addressed by the railways minister, deputy chairman planning commission plus the ambassadors of both countries.
Imperative role of media
Commending on the role of the media, the lawmaker said that it has played a very important role in the dissemination of facts on CPEC which has resulted in the corridor becoming a household name in Pakistan.
Through events like the CPEC media forum, both countries get an excellent opportunity to consolidate the existing all-weather friendship of Pakistan and China, he added, highlighting Pakistan’s Medical and moral support to Beijing during its fight against the pandemic.
Moreover, he said that the Senate passed a resolution that acknowledged China’s robust measures to deal with coronavirus and commended their efforts to make Pakistanis there, mainly students in Wuhan, feel at home during this critical time.
It is evident from the documentary “CPEC Cooperation during COVID-19” made by PCI, that CPEC remained resilient even during a global pandemic and progressed ahead, he continued.
He went on to add that as CPEC cooperation proceeds to a greater depth, the Senate of Pakistan shall play a greater role in extending all possible cooperation to the media of both countries to develop greater understanding and cooperation on the issues of common interests.
The 10th JCC on CPEC will be held soon, he announced.
‘Building a positive opinion on CPEC’
Meanwhile, Zheng Qingdong, President and Editor-in-Chief of Economic Daily, and Mustafa Hyder Sayed, Executive Director, Pakistan-China Institute gave the welcome addresses.
Highlighting the importance of the CPEC media forum, Zheng said that since its launch, the project has contributed a lot towards building a positive public opinion.
He said that in the face of the complex international environment, the media of China and Pakistan should take joint actions and form synergies in firmly opposing the negative propaganda against CPEC.
Moreover, he shared that the year 2021 will be the 70th anniversary of Pak-China diplomatic relations which will be celebrated with zeal and zest in both countries.
On the other hand, Mustafa Hyder Sayed said that Pakistan-China Institute in collaboration with China Economic Net launched the CPEC media forum as an online event and it is held in Beijing and Islamabad in alternate years.
Last year, Pakistan-China Institute launched the Rapid Response Information Network (RRIN) which identifies fake news on CPEC and deconstructs them with facts.
Moreover, PCI has also launched a monograph titled “CPEC: Facts Vs Fiction”. Mustafa informed the audience that the Pakistan-China Institute will be publishing “The Governance of China”, Part 2 and Part 3 in Urdu, which are authored by President Xi Jinping.
The first phase of CPEC, which focused on energy and infrastructure projects, met its successful completion and now the second phase is set to boost Pak-China cooperation in agriculture and initiate an era of industrialisation through the establishment of Special Economic Zones, he added.
‘CPEC plays significant role to promote the in-depth development’
On the occasion, Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong said that as an important pilot project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and a demonstration project of China-Pakistan cooperation, CPEC plays a significant role to promote the in-depth development of the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership and high-quality growth of the Belt and Road Initiative.
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.
While commenting on a recently held meeting of the Joint Working Group on international coordination on CPEC, he said that China would strengthen coordination with academia and think-tanks through CPEC.
Since its launch, Pakistan has achieved fruitful results of CPEC cooperation.
After the successful completion of CPEC Phase 1, which focused on energy and infrastructure, the second phase would focus on industrial cooperation, agriculture, science, technology, and improving the livelihoods of people.
Moreover, he highlighted the prospects of CPFTA-II and said that it would solve the issue of the trade imbalance between Pakistan and China.
Digital age and media
Pakistan’s ambassador to China, Moin ul Haq said that in this digital age, the media is playing a pivotal role in bolstering the friendship and solidarity between the people of Pakistan and China.
He said that the media has rightly guided the public about the true significance of the CPEC project, which has resulted in creating a national consensus on the project.
Moreover, he said that Pakistan is the biggest proponent of the Belt and Road Initiative and endorses President Xi’s philosophy of shared future and prosperity.
He concluded by saying that Pakistan and China need to strengthen media cooperation by screening more films in China just like ‘Parwaaz hai Junoon”, which was the first Pakistani film screened in China in the last 45 years.
He said that JWG on International Cooperation was held in Urumqi on December 26 which agreed to broaden CPEC by inviting third country participation.
In this regard, Executive Secretary of the All-China Journalists Association Tian Yuhong said that CPEC is a symbol of attachment between Pakistan and China and even a global pandemic like COVID-19 could not stop the progress of projects under its umbrella.
He said that news exchange and cooperation is an important factor to promote the healthy development of bilateral relations and smooth implementation of CPEC projects.
Under the BRI framework, All-China Journalists Association has established close cooperative relations with several journalist organizations, including the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, All Pakistan Journalists Association, and All Pakistan Newspapers Society.
Moreover, he added that in the face of COVID-19, the common enemy of mankind, the media of China and Pakistan help each other with a common mission
‘Not a single Pakistani working on CPEC sites laid off during pandemic’
Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman, Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and PakistanChina Institute commended the resilience of CPEC which progressed with full speed and vigor during COVID-19. He said that not a single Pakistani working on CPEC sites was laid off.
Commenting on the recently held meeting on Joint Working Group on international coordination, he said that there will be an increased focus on media and thinktank collaboration to take CPEC forward. The meeting also welcomed third party participation in CPEC.
Moreover, he highlighted three objectives of conducting CPEC media forum. Firstly, it is aimed to promote and strengthen the all-weather strategic partnership between Pakistan and China.
CPEC is part of BRI which is the biggest developmental and diplomatic initiative of the 21st Century. Secondly, it aims to counter the propaganda against CPEC with facts.
This type of media cooperation will create synergies and energize both sides to come up with facts needed to shape positive public opinion on CPEC. Thirdly, it aims to highlight CPEC developments to the media and the general public. In this way, the forum is acting as a ‘Force Multiplier’ in taking this friendship forward.
Journalists conferred with the ‘CPEC Communication Award’
After the speeches, an award ceremony was held in which seven journalists were conferred with the “CPEC Communication Award”.
Those seven journalists were; Muhammad Asghar, correspondent of Associated Press of Pakistan in Beijing; Naveed Hussain, Editor(Print & Digital) Express Tribune; Shafqat Ali, Special correspondent of The Nation; Liu Chang, Journalist of China Media Group Pakistan Bureau; Tariq Sumair, Editor of INP; Amir Ghauri, Editor of The News; Sultan Hali, Columnist, writer, and author of a book on China.
At the end of the conference, there was a comprehensive question/answer session from the participants, which lasted for over 15 minutes.
The CPEC Media Forum had huge online participation of over 300,000 persons in Pakistan and China, including students and scholars, journalists, and academics, policy-makers, think-tanks, and business and opinion leaders.