A leader of ....

Pakistan Observer - - IN­TER­NA­TIONAL -

China as a coun­try be­ing led by a su­per leader of to­day.

Since as­sum­ing pres­i­dency in March 2013, Pres­i­dent Xi has unas­sum­ingly emerged as a states­man on the global stage. Un­der his guid­ing vi­sion, China has vig­or­ously pleaded for an eq­ui­table world or­der, de­void of a global political oli­garchy. An or­der, which holds the UN at its core and the prin­ci­ples of the UN char­ter as its foun­da­tion. Pres­i­dent Xi has ef­fec­tively raised his voice for re­forms in the global gov­er­nance sys­tem to en­able it to re­spond to chal­lenges of chang­ing times and re­al­i­ties. He ad­vo­cates a col­lec­tive ap­proach duly owned by the world com­mu­nity to re­ar­range the global gov­er­nance ar­chi­tec­ture.

The Chi­nese for­eign pol­icy un­der Pres­i­dent Xi is char­ac­ter­ized by a re­newed push for peace and par­tic­i­pa­tory devel­op­ment in the world. The present lead­er­ship of China is con­vinced that it is im­pos­si­ble for China or any other coun­try for that mat­ter to de­velop on its own. Only when the world col­lec­tively pro­gresses can in­di­vid­ual coun­tries truly reap the ben­e­fits.

This vi­sion of par­tic­i­pa­tory and shared eco­nomic devel­op­ment is re­flected in Pres­i­dent Xi “Belt and Road” ini­tia­tive. Launched dur­ing his visit to Kaza­khstan and In­done­sia in 2013, Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt and 21st Cen­tury Mar­itime Silk Road ini­tia­tives are cor­ner­stone of China’s for­eign and do­mes­tic eco­nomic poli­cies. Fi­nan­cial in­te­gra­tion, trade lib­er­al­iza­tion, greater peo­ple-to-peo­ple con­nec­tiv­ity and en­hanced pol­icy co­or­di­na­tion among the Asian coun­tries are at the heart of “Belt and Road” ini­tia­tive.

The “Belt and Road” projects are in sync with Pres­i­dent Xi’s for­eign pol­icy pri­or­i­ties of im­prov­ing diplo­macy with the coun­tries of the re­gion and a greater em­ploy­ment of its eco­nomic prowess as part of its over­all diplo­matic out­reach.

China-Pak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor (CPEC) of $46 bil­lion is a flag­ship project of Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s “Belt and Road” vi­sion, which was an­nounced dur­ing his trip to Pak­istan in April 2015. In his his­toric ad­dress to the joint ses­sion of Pak­istan’s Par­lia­ment, Pres­i­dent Xi de­scribed Pak­istan as “Iron Brother” and the in­au­gu­ra­tion of this un­ri­valled devel­op­ment pack­age showed that his words were cast in the iron of deeds.

The CPEC, which aims to con­nect Gwadar port in South­west­ern Pak­istan to China’s north­west­ern re­gion of Xin­jiang has rightly been billed as a po­ten­tial gamechanger for the en­tire re­gion and not merely Pak­istan. Its ben­e­fits may ex­tend be­yond our bor­ders to in­clude other coun­tries of the re­gion. The Cor­ri­dor, which will run about 3,000 km from Gwadar to Kash­gar, will put Pak­istan on the path of eco­nomic and en­ergy se­cu­rity.

This brief com­ment on Pres­i­dent Xi’s per­son­al­ity and political phi­los­o­phy would be in­com­plete with­out ref­er­ence to his con­cept of “Chi­nese Dream” that lays out his vi­sion of a strong na­tion. This “Dream,” as he ex­plained in his in­ter­view with The Wall Street Jour­nal in Septem­ber 2015, is fun­da­men­tally about im­prov­ing liv­ing con­di­tions of the peo­ple of China.

Talk­ing of dreams I must first how­ever share one of the most re­mark­able wak­ing mo­ments of my in­ter­ac­tion with Pres­i­dent Xi. It was that mem­o­rable meet­ing in which Pres­i­dent Xi smiled and said to me that the La­hore Or­ange Line Train Project was his gift to the Pak­istani na­tion. And what a grand gift it is in­deed. Such ges­tures speak vol­umes about the in­ex­haustible reser­voir of good­will and af­fec­tion the Chi­nese lead­er­ship has for the peo­ple of Pak­istan.

Rooted in his­tory, re­al­ity and hearts of the peo­ple, Chi­nese Dream has in­spired mil­lions to strive to make their life bet­ter. The term, which has be­come a sig­na­ture political slo­gan of Pres­i­dent Xi, refers to the re­vival and rejuvenation of the Chi­nese na­tion, the ef­fects of which are vis­i­ble glob­ally as China takes on more dom­i­nant po­si­tion on var­i­ous in­ter­na­tional is­sues.

“Four Com­pre­hen­sives,” namely com­pre­hen­sively build­ing a mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety, com­pre­hen­sively strength­en­ing and deep­en­ing re­form, com­pre­hen­sively re­form­ing rule of law and en­sur­ing party dis­ci­pline, de­fine political phi­los­o­phy of Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping.

Build­ing a mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety is a fun­da­men­tal as­pect of the Chi­nese Dream. It aims to make life bet­ter and more pros­per­ous for com­mon Chi­nese peo­ple by dou­bling av­er­age in­come over the next decade. It seeks to re­duce in­equal­ity be­tween ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas be­sides mov­ing 250 mil­lion more peo­ple into the cities and in­creas­ing their pro­duc­tiv­ity lev­els.

Strength­en­ing re­forms has to do with giv­ing mar­ket forces more de­ci­sive role in re­source al­lo­ca­tion while con­tin­u­ing with the so­cial mar­ket model of econ­omy. It fur­ther means that bloated state-owned en­ter­prises will be re­struc­tured and more for­eign and pri­vate sec­tors play­ers will be en­cour­aged to com­pete.

The third el­e­ment of com­pre­hen­sively re­form­ing rule of law re­lates to devel­op­ment of China’s le­gal sys­tem in many ar­eas.

The fourth “Com­pre­hen­sive” is best de­fined in “Tigers and Flies” cam­paign to root out cor­rup­tion at all lev­els.

In his in­au­gu­ral speech af­ter be­ing ap­pointed as Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party in 2012, Pres­i­dent Xi ar­tic­u­lated the con­cerns of the com­mon man when he said, “Our peo­ple ex­pect bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion, more sta­ble jobs, bet­ter in­come, more re­li­able so­cial se­cu­rity, med­i­cal care of a higher stan­dard, more com­fort­able liv­ing con­di­tions, and a more beau­ti­ful en­vi­ron­ment.”

The political phi­los­o­phy of Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping em­bod­ies the as­pi­ra­tions of not only the Chi­nese peo­ple but also those of all peo­ple from around the world. The world needs a leader of his vi­sion, cal­iber and states­man­ship to steer it out of un­char­tered wa­ters. His dream of a peace­ful and de­vel­oped world is the dream of ev­ery man, woman and child of this world. And I dream the same dream.

Pak­istan is proud of its friend­ship with China and I am per­son­ally hon­ored to have the priv­i­lege of be­ing able to claim Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping as a friend. He along with Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif has also taken Pak-China all-weather friend­ship to a new level of bi­lat­eral en­gage­ment through their per­sonal ef­forts. Long live Pak-China friend­ship! — (The writer is Chief Min­is­ter of Pun­jab)

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