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BRI video conference opens avenues for international cooperation

By Zamir Ahmed Awan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-06-22 10:21
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi presides over a high-level video conference on Belt and Road international cooperation in Beijing, capital of China, June 18, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

The High-level Video Conference on Belt and Road International Cooperation was held Thursday. Twenty-five countries from the Belt and Road family participated. Doctor Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, and Achim Steiner, administrator of the United Nations Development Program, attended the conference as special guests.

Wang Yi, State Councilor and foreign minister of the People's Republic of China, chaired the conference.

The conference was held at a very crucial time, when the whole world is passing through a devastating pandemic, and facing various challenges, especially developing nations, which are more vulnerable. Public health is at stake in many countries, including the developed world. The US is the worst-hit country, followed by the EU, Russia, Brazil, India and so on. The global economy is suffering adversely, and some countries are in a recession. However, China was the first country to become a victim of COVID-19, but due to hard work and the right policies and timely decisions, China became the first country to defeat COVID-19.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is a strong and visionary leader. He understands the pain that humanity is suffering from. He sent a message to those attending the video conference.

"Be it in taming the virus or in achieving economic recovery, we cannot succeed without solidarity, cooperation, and multilateralism. The right approach to tackling global crises and realizing long-term development is through greater connectivity, openness, and inclusiveness," Xi said.

His message is very important and crucial to defeating the virus and recovery of the economy, and his proposal for solidarity, cooperation, and multilateralism is key to tackle the challenges faced by the world in the current crisis. No one single country can win against the threat posed by the pandemic, so collective efforts are required to overcome it. His vision of post-pandemic, long term, sustainable development is possible only through enhanced connectivity, more openness and further inclusiveness. China is a success story on how to overcome COVID-19 and has already emerged as a leader. Now China is helping the rest of the world to fight against the pandemic. China is sharing its experience and supplying medical materials to the whole world.

President Xi also emphasized that China will work with its partners to develop the Belt and Road into a model of cooperation for meeting challenges through unity, a model of health for protecting people's safety and well-being, a model of recovery for restoring economic and social activity, and a model of growth for unlocking development potential.

The Belt and Road Initiative is a unique model of China for future development and prosperity. Already a BRI family is established with a shared destiny, and more countries are joining it. China has emerged as developed and matured enough to help other nations. China possesses the potential and requisite experience to assist the BRI family in developing economy and society. The Chinese leadership has a clear-vision and a strong political will to extend cooperation among the BRI family based on win-win cooperation.

As a matter of fact, the most precious thing in this universe is human life, and most important is humankind. The Chinese leadership put human lives at the highest priority while fighting against COVID-19. Although it suffered huge economic losses, it tried its best to save human lives. Some countries tried to save the economy and suffered heavy loss of lives. In this regard, Chinese leadership made the right policies and timely decisions, which are widely appreciated.

In the devastated world, I can foresee a big role for China in the post-pandemic era. There exists a huge space for development under BRI, and China may lead the global economy and developments. However, China is a country rich in resources, investment, expertise, and capabilities to lead the world. 

In fact, the conference was very important for the BRI family as it provided a platform to discuss various issues and challenges being faced by the world and built consensus on how to overcome challenges and formulate a collective strategy to deal with all challenges. The strength of unity, collective wisdom, and pooled resources may prove the key to success. The fruits of this conference may be visible very soon.

Pakistan has been the biggest supporter of the BRI since the beginning and became its largest beneficiary. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a flagship project of the BRI and is in the most advanced stage. The two countries, China and Pakistan, are committed to making the economic corridor a success story and role model for the rest of the world to follow.

A unique friendship exists between China and Pakistan and China and Pakistan are devoted to peace, stability, and prosperity of in the whole region, as well as globally. Both countries support each other and stand with each other at all critical moments.

Professor Zamir Ahmed Awan is a Sinologist (ex-diplomat), editor, analyst, non-resident fellow at theCenter for China and Globalization, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan. 

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not represent the views of China Daily and China Daily website.

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