Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi while on a three day visit to China along with Foreign Minister Khawaja M. Asif was received warmly by Mr. Yan Zhaojun, Member of the Standing Committee CPPCC of Sanya. During his visit, PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi attended the BOAO Forum for Asia. The BOAO conference, also referred to as ‘Asia’s Davos’, was held in China’s Southern Island province, Hainan, from April 8 – 11 during which top leaders from China, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Mongolia, Austria and many other countries took part.
While addressing the BOAO Forum, PM Abbasi termed Pakistan and China as ‘Iron Brothers’ and added that Sino-Pak friendship is the bedrock of strategic stability for Asia. PM Abbasi, also, admired Chinese efforts for the economic uplift of Asia and the world at large. While speaking about CPEC, PM said that soon Gwadar will be serving as the economic nucleus of the globe. He elaborated that, “at the southern tip of this Corridor, development of the deep seaport of Gwadar is proceeding at a fast track. On completion, it will not only serve as a transit and transshipment hub, but become an economic nucleus. Besides Pakistan, it will afford shortest maritime and overland access to Western China, Central and South Asia and the Middle East”,
The One Belt – One Road initiative was thoroughly appreciated by PM Abbasi. In his speech, PM also expressed utter satisfaction on the mutual collaboration of China & Pakistan on diverse fields from which both countries are benefitting. This cooperation has boosted up the economy of Pakistan to highest point in the decade, reaching up to 6% annually. PM Abbasi stressed on coordinated and tailored approaches to achieve common vested interests along with improvement of human capital.
PM Abbasi also talked about the security concerns in the region, voicing that development & security remain “intrinsically indivisible”. He also spoke about the Pakistan-China-Afghanistan trilateral framework which aimed at achieving objectives such as open trade, shared innovation, promotion of tolerance and denial of space to extremism of any kind.
Chinese President, Xi Jinping, with a colossal announcement opened up the markets of China for foreign car companies and reduced the tariffs on imported autos along with other products, as well. The global automobile industry was welcomed by China in BOAO Forum, especially the American automobile companies as the previous 25% tariff would now be reduced.
President Xi emphasized on trade without barriers and restrictions, he hoped that, “developed countries will stop imposing restrictions on normal and reasonable trade of high-tech products and relax export controls on such trade with China”. He termed open systems/markets as the best course of action for the world. He also spoke about trade liberalization, investment facilitation and promotion of multilateral trade systems.
When speaking about the OBOR initiative, President Xi, said that this project is for every country that wishes to join hand in mutual cooperation and economic growth. He nullified the perception of using OBOR initiative for achieving geopolitical clout by saying, “China has no geopolitical calculations, seeks no exclusionary blocs and imposes no business deals on others”. President Xi clearly mentioned that China does not believes in changing the world order by force, “We will never threaten anyone, nor overthrow the existing international system”. He also appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in joining hands with China and Afghanistan to attain regional stability by mutual response. China’s stance of global security remains crystal clear; helping the developing countries by providing all type of support. In the respective scenario, China wants to build peace not only in Pakistan but in the whole region.
The BOAO Forum for Asia pointed out two major changes in the economic trends of the Asian region. Firstly, global trade protectionism is on the rise. Secondly, the apparatus of Asian growth is still in an uncertain state, and the interdependence of various economies in the global value chain continues to weaken. The economic integration and financial stability in Asia faces turbulence, as seen in 2016. Henceforth, the Report on Economic Integration in Asia proposed to reverse the trend of anti-globalization and promote rapid economic and trade growth in Asia by pulling of negotiations with RCEP with resolute means.
PM Abbasi meets with UN Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Guterres.
On the sidelines of BOAO Forum for Asia, the United Nations Secretary General met Prime Minister of Pakistan. PM Abbasi shared his view with the UN Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Guterres on the deteriorating situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK) and the lethal killing spree of thousands of innocent Kashmiris. The PM also pointed out the use of pellet guns on unarmed Kashmiris which is causing injuries and even handicaps most of the civilians. The use of pellet guns has costed many Kashmiris their eyes; the ratio of blindness caused by pellet guns is increasing day by day in IoK.
Pakistan seeks a peaceful and just resolution of the dispute in correspondence with United Nations Security Council and the aspirations of Kashmiris, expressed the PM. PM Abbasi urged UN to play its role in halting Indian atrocities being mete out on Kashmiri people of Indian occupied Kashmir. The PM also highlighted the deliberate ceasefire violations by India along the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary triggering risky escalations resulting in martyrdom of soldiers. The PM mentioned the fact that such dangerous escalations might lead to confrontation of both the states if India does not put a stop to its misadventures as Pakistan follows a zero tolerance towards terrorism.
The UN Secretary General acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts towards counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance to Afghan refugees and UN peacekeeping missions. The Secretary General expressed that he staunchly advocated the peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute through serious dialogue.
Writer is the CEO of Melange IT Solutions Marketing, an expert on Political Economy. the Director of Bandial Group, Director IT ‘Melange’ Magazine and ‘The Asian Telegraph’