Chinese journalists hail CPEC’s progress in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: Visiting Chinese journalists and communication experts have applauded the pace of progress under multi-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and urged the two countries to engage media more frequently to dispel misinformation about the $56 billion corridor.
“Two years ago, I visited Islamabad along with Chinese President Xi Jinping and observed power outages every two hours. This week I came back to Islamabad and there is no electricity shortage. This means CPEC’s early harvest projects have started delivering fruits,” said Wang Lin of China Business News while addressing 3rd CPEC Media Forum here on Monday.
Wang Lin who also wrote a research paper on CPEC for Washington-based think tank, said the corridor is changing Pakistan’s image abroad and other countries are keenly looking at the progress made by the country.
She also urged media in Pakistan and China to encourage direct reporting on issues in each country instead of relying on second hand reports of the western media. “Yesterday, had I not been here in Islamabad, I would have thought the city is totally paralysed owing to protests but I observed crowds of shoppers at a mega mall in Islamabad which showed other picture and buying power of Pakistani people,” she said.
Editor of China’s People’s Daily Meng Xianglin said the people of the two countries are getting closer thanks to CPEC projects. He underscored the importance of media in success of the initiative.
Professor Li Xiguang, an expert of South Asia history contested Indian claim that CPEC is passing through any disputed territory.
“If we look at history, Baltistan has never been part of India so it is not a disputed territory. Historically, it has been an independent country before the British invasion,” said Li who is Director of Tsinghua University Center for Pakistan Culture and Communication Studies. He showed pictures of the area and old maps to prove Baltistan has been historically independent state while its people and culture are similar to old Tibetan people.
He called for the need of improving image of Pakistan in China and highlighted his efforts in removing misconception about Pakistan and the Muslims. Pakistan-China Institute and Parliamentary Committee on CPEC Chairman Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed said there are many misconceptions about the corridor and there is need to create awareness among journalists about various projects and their benefits.
He said there are only 9,581 Chinese nationals in Pakistan for CPEC related projects while 10,000 Chinese are here for non-CPEC related projects. “There is propaganda that huge number of Chinese have come to Pakistan after CPEC but total number of Chinese engineers and technicians is not more than 20,000,” he said adding that there is no Chinese labour in Pakistan. Mushahid mentioned Indian propaganda against CPEC and stressed the need for countering the same through media. He announced to hold annual CPEC media awards to encourage quality reporting on the subject by journalists from the two countries.
President of CPEC Media Forum and Jang Islamabad Bureau Chief Hafiz Tahir Khalil called for improved coordination between the journalists from Pakistan and China.
He said the Media Forum is open to all journalists from the two countries who want to contribute to the progress of the region under the CPEC initiative