BEIJING: Pakistan has emerged as a leading partner of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), introduced by President Xi Jinping six years back, according to a survey released at a media and think tank exchange event held in Nanjing, Jiangsu province.
The fast and smooth functioning of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) makes Pakistan’s role most prominent in the community of the nations. The CPEC is cited as a practical demonstration of BRI’s concept of shared destiny.
According to the survey, BRI has been gaining more recognition globally and will help support economic development across Asia and beyond. The 2019 Belt and Road Media and Think Tank Exchange Event attracted mainstream media representatives and think tank experts from 17 countries, including Pakistan and India.
Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee, represented Pakistan at the meeting. Addressing the meeting, he said that the media and think tanks have an important function in the international community with regard to communicating and avoiding conflicts.
“People are the best bridge to different cultures communicating,” he said. “An initiative is needed for cultures to learn from each other, and we need to promote the development of such an initiative.”
A report released during the event, titled “Leading a New Round of Global Opening up and Cooperation; The Belt and Road in the Eyes of the International Community”, found that the global community’s recognition of the initiative has been increasing each year.
China’s neighbouring countries particularly Pakistan has the best understanding of it, according to the report. In last year’s survey of six ASEAN countries, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Vietnam, 70pc of respondents said they knew of the BRI.
In another survey conducted in 11 Asian countries, including Israel, Saudi Arabia, and India, 56pc of respondents thought the BRI provides a new solution for global governance and a new mode for equal and win-win cooperation among countries.
The international community recognizes the BRI’s positive impacts on the development of their own countries, the report said.
Last year, in a survey in 21 countries, 53pc of respondents recognized the BRI’s positive impact on regional and global economic development, and 74.7pc of respondents from 11 Asian countries believed the BRI could bring more opportunities for their countries’ development.
Since the Belt and Road Initiative was launched in 2013, it has shown itself to be fruitful and has generated higher expectations from the international community.
In a 2018 survey in 17 countries, 72.5pc of the respondents thought of the BRI as a global public product with bright prospects, and 69.3pc wished their governments would further participate in the initiative.
In another survey this year in 11 Asian countries, 76.7pc of the respondents found that the BRI could bring more development opportunities to Asia.
Gao Anming, deputy director of China International Publishing Group, said that the event provides new opportunities for communication and cooperation between Chinese and foreign media and think tanks.
Hu Hong, the vice-mayor of Nanjing, said that the Belt and Road Initiative can help promote mutual understanding and cooperation between China and other countries and that the media and think tank exchange event will help countries to deepen communication and enhance friendship.