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ISLAMABAD: Pang Chunxue, charge d’ affaires of the Chinese Embassy, on Friday, called for close cooperation between Pakistan and China in the domains of agriculture, industry, technology, and all other areas of mutual interest.

The Chinese diplomat was speaking at a seminar, titled, “Global Development Initiative – Catalyst for Development Cooperation”, organised by the China-Pakistan Study Centre (CPSC) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI).

In her remarks, she stated that the Global Development Initiative (GDI) is a re-prioritisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the rejuvenation of global development efforts.

Noting that the GDI was an initiative that aimed to reactivate international development cooperation, she highlighted in detail the progress made in advancing the aims and objectives of GDI through practical cooperation with partner countries and organisations.

She added that Pakistan occupied the position of a “priority partner” in the GDI framework. “The two countries needed to work hand-in-glove in the domains of agriculture, industry, technology and all other areas of mutual interest,” she added.

In his address as the chief guest, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, chairman Senate Standing Committee on Defence, lauded China for the launch of the far-reaching and consequential GDI.

He stated that the world is currently experiencing both transformation and turmoil, adding that different leaders are describing this decade in different ways.

Sayed pointed out that President Macron had accurately stated that “this decade marked the end of 300 years of Western dominance”. He added that the current era is witnessing the rise of China and the “Asian Century”.

Despite global conflicts, climate change, poverty, and energy-related challenges, he stated that China has shown impressive leadership.

“China’s global strategy included the Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative, and Global Civilization Initiative, which shared many similarities. This initiative reflected that the Chinese values were all about cooperation, peace and respect,” he said.

He noted that Chinese strategic culture without a second thought was an embodiment of cooperation, peace and respect for all. He further stated that Pakistan and China shared a long-standing, all-weather and time-tested strategic relationship. Therefore, both should work together to build an “Asian Century” of progress, prosperity and cooperation, he added.

In his remarks, Director General ISSI Ambassador Sohail Mahmood (retd) said that the GDI was a critical initiative launched by China at a time when the world was deeply affected by the health and economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the deficit in the achievement of SDGs was growing.

He added that President Xi Jinping presented the GDI at the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly in September 2021 to pool efforts to tackle the challenges of the world and to facilitate the post-pandemic recovery.

He noted that Pakistan is one of the first countries to lend its strong support for the GDI, adding that Pakistan is also among the first countries to become a member of the GDI’s “Group of Friends” at the United Nations.

He said that a lot of progress has since been achieved from that platform. He underscored that at a time of global food, fuel and financial crises, initiatives like GDI were essential for the developing world.

He also highlighted the contribution of BRI’s flagship project, CPEC, to Pakistan’s continued progress and prosperity. He hoped that GDI would be perceived in its right perspective by all in that it helped advance the noble cause of achievement of SDGs by 2030.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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