Nov 9. (CGTN): Editor's note: The sixth China International Import Expo (CIIE) is being held in Shanghai from November 5 to 10. China, taking CIIE as a link, joins hands with countries worldwide to create opportunities. The continuous progress of the Chinese path to modernization is also a process of expanding China's influence and appeal in the world. To explain the concept of China's development, CGTN and China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy (CIIDS) have launched the "Chinese modernization: Sharing prosperity" series. In this article, Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, former Foreign Minister of Pakistan, shared his thoughts on this topic. The article reflects the author's opinion and not necessarily the views of CGTN.
During my numerous visits to China as a Foreign Minister and subsequently as a private citizen, I realized there was immense trust between China and Pakistan, and I was treated with exemplary warmth by the government and private citizens in your great country.
The continuous progress of the Chinese path to modernization is also a process of expanding China's influence and appeal in the world. Looking back on this process, it is not difficult to find that China's pursuit of modernization and its efforts to integrate into economic globalization complement and reinforce each other. Let me come to the challenges to globalization first. As China grew at an astounding speed which pleased developing countries like Pakistan, however, some, in the developed countries, at the same time started regarding China as a challenge. But we have seen that the Chinese leadership in different phases has tried to avoid confrontation with the West and focus on its economic development. As a citizen of Pakistan, which is a developing country, I find the rising rhetoric against China by leading Western countries, very alarming. The entire world gained immensely when China and the West cooperated.
As we currently see, there are several challenges to the process of globalization and the most notable among them is the revision of U.S. policies from pro-globalization to protectionism. We first saw this during President Donald Trump's tenure, who repeatedly spoke of "America First." The Trump administration adopted protectionist policies and termed "free-trade policies" responsible for the collapse of the U.S. manufacturing industry. The United Kingdom's Brexit decision was also motivated by similar protectionist considerations. On the contrary, China has moved away from the protectionist policies to the promotion of the policies of globalization. The current tension on the issue of trade between the two largest economies of the world is posing a major hurdle towards globalization.
Some in the West feel that globalization has led to China's global influence because of the remarkable rise of China in the last five decades. China was five decades ago, itself a developing country and its rise created a sense of hope among many in the developing world. This alarmed quite a few in the West. The first major jolt to the established order was the global financial crisis of 2007-2008. The announcement by President Xi in 2013 and the relatively early implementation of the "Belt and Road Initiative" (BRI), referring to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road was noticed globally. The BRI refers to a China-led initiative for globalization and envisages an intercontinental network of roads, high-speed railways, and ports linking up China to various countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Eurasia and Africa.
I am particularly encouraged by the section from President Xi's speech delivered at the 20th National Congress of CPC in which he said, China will "actively participate in global governance on climate change," with a view to building on previous successes and paving the way for future ambition to effectively tackle the global challenge of climate change.
A large number of developing countries are hoping that China will play that role. China is also a world leader in solar energy technology and its experiences in this and other clean energy technologies will help achieve the objectives of COP 27. Anyway, it was President Xi Jinping who during his speech at the opening of the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May 2017 floated the idea of forming the Green Development Coalition to ensure that the BRI projects meet the UN standards of sustainable development. Since then, major multilateral development agencies and global corporations have joined the initiative. Many organizations under the umbrella of the Green Development Coalition have been established for different development sectors including green finance.
Additionally, the BRI has not only driven the modernization of China but also promoted the modernization of other countries, providing significant opportunities in BRI for the developing world in terms of investment, infrastructure development, industrialization, sharing good practices and re-establishing the broken supply and demand chains. I am happy to note that China is also working to implement its concept of shared prosperity and a global community of shared future and that China wants no country to be left behind in the process of development.
One of the most important projects of the BRI is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It is a manifestation of the vibrant relationship between our two countries. CPEC is a 3000km-long network of roads, railways, oil and gas pipelines, and energy and industrial projects that stretches from the Pakistani port city of Gwadar on the Arabian Sea to the Chinese city of Kashi in Xinjiang. CPEC is not merely a bilateral venture. Once completed, it has the potential to knit Russia in the north to Pakistan in the South, and Iran in the west to India and beyond in the east.
Before I end, I would like to note that China and Pakistan will continue to cooperate at the international level on major international disputes and security issues. Besides, as China pushes forward with the achievements of Chinese modernization to path, China will further deepen new cooperation with countries around the world, including Pakistan.