By Dr. Baige Zhao
Vice Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, National People’s Congress, PRC Chair of the Advisory Committee, Research and Development International, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS-RDI) Your excellency Prime Minister Sharif, Dear Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, I am so happy to be here to join the Gwadar in the 21st Century Conference. First of all, I would like to congratulate you all for the great achievements attained in CPEC development, especially in the Baluchestan and Gwadar region, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sharif, with the joint efforts of government, parliament, military and the people of Pakistan. A number of projects have achieved great success these include infrastructure projects covering railway, highway and airport, livelihood projects covering hospital and school construction and water processing programs, as well as innovative and sustainable projects covering new energy development. The construction of Gwadar marks a further step in CPEC development, and will serve as powerful stimuli for socio- cultural integration and economic advancement of the region and country.
Since 2014, China actively put forward the “One Belt and One Road” Initiative to promote facility connection, policy communication, financial exchanges, trade communication and people-to-people exchanges, to bring peace and development to every country and every individual. OBOR will foster new growth points in the global economy, promote infrastructure development, expand investment and exports, and realize stable economic growth. More importantly, it will promote a global governance structure more adaptable to globalization and providing more incentives for emerging economies to play an active role. CPEC as a flagship project of the Initiative conceived in 2013 has attained great achievements. Today, we are so proud here to celebrate the success of the project and to testify the deepened friendship between China and Pakistan. We have recognized, through two years’ practice in CPEC, that peace and development are the foundation for CPEC’s success. The idea of peace and development refers to the idea of wide consultation, joint development and mutual benefits emphasized by President Xi Jinping in the development of the “One Belt and One Road” Initiative.
It means that every country should strive for integrated and sustainable development in political, economic, social, cultural and ecological realms. It emphasizes on the rights to freedom and equality, and to sharing development benefits. We have also recognized that mutual trust lies at the foundation of CPEC development. Such trust is based on mutual understanding and respect for cultural diversity, on the common vision of joint development and mutual benefit, and on the operation comprising of need-based, project-oriented and result- driven practical cooperation.
We have also clearly recognized the importance of institutional support and resource mobilization. Research and Development International (RDI), the innovative think tank, serves as an important platform for implementing OBOR. Seven groups of RDI provide legal services, policy research, project information, financial support, culture and branding consultation, and capacity building. RDI has established China-Pakistan International Cooperation Committee and created the co-chair system. Senator Mushahid and mysef serve as the chairmen of the Committee. Last year, RDI organized Karamay Forum (2015) focusing on China-Pakistan cooperation and reached memorandum of cooperation totaling RMB 10.35 billion. Karamay Forum (2016) extends from China-Pakistan cooperation to cooperation with Pakistan, Iran and Kazakhstan, increases the number and range of enterprises, signing project MOU that totals RMB 62.5791 billion. We are planning Karamay Forum (2017) in Pakistan, which will allow more influential leaders and practitioners from the whole world to join this event.
As the most and 6th populous country in the world, China and Pakistan bear great potentials in contributing to the world. The success of CPEC tests and proves our great strength and solidarity, and promises more robust cooperation prospect. Together, we shall maintain regional and global stability and extend the fruit of development to everyone. Ladies and gentlemen,
The successful construction of Gwadar Port marks a further step in CPEC development. These new achievements mark the first hallmark for CPEC, but also for the brighter future of regional integration along with the OBOR Initiative. We recognize the great achievements that we have made and looks forward to a brighter future. To guarantee the success of Gwadar, we should strengthen strategic cooperation, provide policy incentives to invest in Gwadar, enhance its security level, conceive detailed policies to attract high-tech industries and promote capacity building programs, which will lead to transcendent development of the region. As I look afar at the rugged clay mountains, the deep blue sea stretching to the horizon and the port being constructed, I see the friendship, endeavors and determination that transcend the span of the span of the Silk Road, overpass the highest obstacles and encompass the deepest cooperation to embrace infinite possibilities. With our join efforts, Pakistan will become a land of prosperity and Gwadar will become a worldly renowned city recorded in the history of mankind. Thank you!