ISLAMABAD: With the flagship multi-sector, multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) entering a higher level of development, China was now closer than ever to helping bring millions of Pakistanis out of poverty and seeing its economy grow at a high rate.
This was stated by China’s Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing while addressing the prize distribution ceremony for an essay competition, “To China, With Love —A letter to China.” The competition had been organised for Pakistani students by the Pakistan-China Institute (PCI) in collaboration with the Chinese Embassy.
CPEC starts bearing fruit for people
The competition aimed to depict Pakistani perception, especially of the youth, regarding Pakistan-China friendship. The ceremony, though, was part of an open house and Sangam Club Gala 2018.
Ambassador Jing said that over the past 40 years, the Chinese people have devoted resources towards the economic development of the country and have managed to lift some 700 million people out of poverty. By signing the landmark China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, China now wishes to bring a similar change in the lives of Pakistani people.
Senator Mushahid Hussain noted that the competition had attracted more than 1,800 essays from across Pakistan. He added that it was a great initiative which promoted foreign partnership and encouraged participation from all over Pakistan.
“CPEC is a success story within a short span of five years, providing employment to over 70,000 Pakistanis and empowering the youth and women through provision of opportunities,” Hussain said, adding, “There is a need to counter negative propaganda against CPEC emanating from people with biased interests, in which the media plays a substantial role.”
CPEC success proof of Pakistan-China friendship
The success of CPEC, Hussain said, was evident from what it has achieved by reviving dead projects such as the Gwadar Port and the Thar Coal Mining Project. It had helped resolved the chronic energy crisis, built the western route which has shortened a two-day journey from Quetta to Gwadar to a mere eight hours.
Moreover, Hussain claimed that CPEC had empowered women of remote places like Thar to play a substantial role in development projects.
“CPEC today unites the provinces of Pakistan in a common quest for a better tomorrow,” he said, adding, “Pakistan is fortunate to have a partnership with China, a country that stood by us through thick and thin.”
Abeera Hassan from Karachi was handed the first prize winner for her essay in the English category. Tehzeeb Hussain Bercha from Gilgit-Baltistan won the first prize for the Urdu category.
They stressed that this will not only improve the grass root-level relationships between the two countries but will also serve as an encouragement to the youth. The event comprised of cultural performances including Tai Chi and Chinese folk music.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 21st, 2018.