Dynamism versus challenges to Pak-China Ties Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing

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In the wake of global economic, strategic and political challenging gripping the South Asia as well as threats posed to the ever strengthening relations between Pakistan and China, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing is the most dynamic diplomat based in Pakistan who is always active in interacting with Pakistani higher authorities discussing numerous issues pertaining to bilateral ties.
Born in April 1969 in the Eastern Province of China, Zhejiang, 70% of which is mountainous. The plain and irrigated areas are located within these mountains, while the area he belongs to resembles the Pakistani city of Abbottabad. He got early education from the local schools and later shifted to Beijing for higher education. Major subject was English because he wanted to join the Public Service. Subsequently, he managed to join the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1991.

His first assignment was to work on the Pakistan Desk. Resultantly, he is a witness to the occasional oscillations in Pak China relations over the last 28 years. The truth is, he is entranced by the love of Pakistan since 1991. Anyway, till 1994, he performed his duties in the Foreign Affairs Department, after which he was sent to Pakistan as a Junior Diplomat. This tenure lasted five years and this was the first country where he spent time away from his own and managed to gain firsthand knowledge of life abroad.

On his return to China in 1995, he was appointed as the Director of Pakistan Desk and thus, his close affiliation continued with Pakistan even after returning home. He remained on this desk for the next five years after which was deputed as a member of the Chinese mission to UN. Over the next two years, he resided in New York but again returned to Pakistan in 2007 as the Deputy Chief in my Embassy here. Three years on, he returned to China, but this time, he got somewhat alienated from Pakistan since he was given the Latin American Desk.

And later, he was posted to the General Office of my Department, where he spent the next three years. He first stepped on Indian soil in 2013 once he was deputed as the Deputy Chief in the Chinese Embassy at New Delhi. Two years later, he was promoted and sent as the Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan in 2015. On October 11, 2017, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani conferred Said Dzemarudin Afghani medal upon him for his efforts to promote China-Afghanistan bilateral relations.

In 2017, he was appointed and then approved by President Xi Jinping as the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, replacing Sun Weidong. An official of Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed the confidence that two countries will further strengthen bilateral cooperation under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework.

According to him, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a major and pilot project of the Belt and Road Initiative, to which the leaders of our two countries have attached great importance and rendered active promotion. It has also won the across-board support from our two peoples as it aims to provide new opportunities to the citizens as well as bring new impetus and vision to China-Pakistan friendship. CPEC is a long-term and systematic project to promote economic cooperation through collaboration on Gwadar port, energy, transportation infrastructure and industrial cooperation.

CPEC will bring solid benefits to our two peoples. With the completion of energy and infrastructure projects, conditions in Pakistan will improve. There will be more electricity integrated into national grid and the electricity supply will be more stable. People will enjoy more convenient transportation and a better livelihood.

Alongside the major projects, we are setting up social welfare institutions, especially in Gwadar, in the form of primary school, vocational training center, and hospital with Chinese government’s grant. We will also provide KPK province with medical, educational and training projects in line with the need of local people, to translate the benefits of CPEC immediately among them. For average persons, the outcomes of the CPEC are tangible, accessible and enjoyable to hundreds of thousands families across the country.

Although relations between Pakistan and China are already well established however hostile powers are always active to harm the harmonized friendship of both the Iron Brothers. Therefore, Ambassador Yao Jing is playing key role in this regard. After his recent meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, he gave good news that upcoming visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China will be highly important, as during his stay there he will get an opportunity to meet President Xi Jinping and attend the 2nd Belt and Road Forum (BRF) in Beijing.

While giving a media briefing at the Chinese embassy on the preparation of BRF that was also attended by the members of Think-Tank and representatives of Chinese companies, he also answered questions relating to cooperative partnership, China’s financing for CPEC, peace and stability in the region, third-party participation and China’s related projects in Gilgit and Baluchistan.

Yao Jing was confidence that the visit will help expand and promote CPEC at a broader level, bringing some new projects in social and agriculture sector. Yao Jing said, the BRI is a five-year-old and it has emerged as a unique model of international cooperation and connectivity, paving the way of prosperity and well-being at all levels, under the concept of shared destiny.

The sole purpose of the CPEC, he said is to participate in the socio-economic development of Pakistan and to improve the living standard of the local community. The ambassador said Pakistan has a bright future and it has an emerging economy. He appreciated the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and said he was doing his best bringing Pakistan out of the economic crisis.

In March this year, Ambassador Yao Jing held a meeting with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and discussed matters of mutual interest. Later in the month, Ambassador Yao Jing attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the new Gwadar international airport, with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief Minister of Baluchistan Jam Kamal, federal ministers, and other Pakistani dignitaries. He applauded the time-tested friendship between China and Pakistan. He observed that China appreciates the Pakistani government’s focusing on economic development, improving the business environment and actively attracting investment.

He said China stands ready to give its support and develop together with Pakistan, and that the two sides agreed to push the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor into a new stage of broadening and expansion, prioritize industrial cooperation and the people’s livelihood, and focus more on the underdeveloped regions in the west.

Calling the new Gwadar international airport another milestone in the cooperation between the two countries, he stated that China fully supports Pakistan’s development and stability. As a sincere partner of Pakistan, China welcomes Prime Minister Imran Khan to attend the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. He believed that with the joint efforts of the two sides, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will yield more fruitful results and the friendship between China and Pakistan will glow with new splendor.

Sometimes, Ambassador Yao Jing holds more than one meetings with Pakistani high officials. For instance in August last, he called on Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser on same day. At first he visited the Foreign Office and congratulated Qureshi on his appointment as Foreign Minister. The two discussed China Pakistan Economic Corridor and bilateral ties between the two friendly countries.

Later, Ambasador Jing went to National Assembly Secretariat where he met Speaker Asad Qaiser. They also spoke about bilateral trade between Pakistan and China, saying the issues would be solved with the help of legislation. Yao Jing said China values its relations with Pakistan and wants to work with the country so that together they help the entire region progress
Earlier in January this year in a meeting with Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar , Ambassador Yao Jing said that China and Pakistan had agreed to expedite work by promoting joint ventures and export-led growth under CPEC by declaring 2019 as year of industrial, socioeconomic and agriculture cooperation.

During the meeting, matters of mutual interest including progress on China Pakistan Economic Corridor projects came under discussion. Ambassador Yao Jing appreciated the 8th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting held successfully in a cordial atmosphere where all deliverables were achieved and the scope of the cooperation was expanded to new avenues.

Both sides agreed to ensure that this year Gwadar Projects, such as New International Airport, Hospital and Vocational Institutes, will hit ground within three months as these projects were beneficial for the local population and will therefore gain the support and trust of the local population. Ambassador Yao Jing appreciated the efforts of Government of Pakistan for facilitating Chinese investors and informed that a large number of Chinese investors would visit Pakistan soon that would further strengthen the bonds of economic and bilateral cooperation.

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