The Pakistan-based think tank, Center for Global and Strategic Studies (CGSS), held an important in-house meeting on Nov 24 to discuss the theme, President Xi Jinping’s Second Tenure: Challenges and Expectations.
CGSS, which is headquartered in Islamabad, seeks to help improve policy and decision-making through analysis and research.
The event was chaired by Ambassador Amjad Majid Abbasi, senior advisory board member of CGSS, and attended by Professor He Bin, bureau chief of China’s Guang Ming Daily. Major General Syed Khalid Amir Jaffery, retired, president of CGSS; and Major General Hafiz Masroor Ahmed, retired, vice-president of CGSS also took part in the discussion.
The following advisory board members of CGSS participated as well: Lieutenant General Sardar Mehmood Ali Khan, retired; Ashfaq Ahmad Gondal, former federal secretary; Brigadier Bilal Akbar, retired; Tauqir Ahmed; Major Azhar, retired; and Khalid Rahim. Lieutenant Colonel Khalid Taimur Akram, retired, director of CGSS, also attended the meeting.
Participants discussed President Xi’s re-election and his vision of ushering in a new world order based on sustainable development. The session discussed Xi’s vision of the Belt and Road Initiative to revive the ancient Silk Road routes and its implications for Pakistan, the region and the wider world. The meeting suggested policy recommendations to overcome potential impediments to Xi’s vision.
While analyzing Xi’s vision, He explained the basic components of China’s political hierarchy and the country objectives. The main theme of He’s speech was “Xi Jinping: The orientation of China’s future policy in the ‘new era’.”
He’s address comprised the following five main components which reflect Xi’s vision as outlined in the recently held 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.
First of all, Xi seeks to comprehensively deepen the reform process at home and “favors continuing with vital development projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative”, he stated.
Secondly, Xi seeks to move with the times and “innovate the mode of development”, He said.
Third, the president improves ties with the world and develops an open economy.
Fourth, he said, in Xi’s view, people are the center of governance. So he seeks to formulate prudent policies for their benefit. Fifth, Xi aims to promote international relations and the building of a community of shared destiny for mankind.
Ambassador Abbasi remarked that there are three powerful institutions in the People’s Republic of China: The Communist Party of China, the People’s Liberation Army; and the Presidency. He added that Xi is the most powerful president in China’s history after Chairman Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.
He acknowledged the achievements of all the Chinese leaders. For instance, Chairman Mao contributed the establishment of the modern Chinese state, while Deng opened up the Chinese economy that led to the current prosperity and expansion of Chinese influence across the globe.
Xi, meanwhile, has initiated new reforms which include the Belt and Road Initiative that has been made part of the Party’s Constitution. Hence, he gave the future direction to the Chinese nation.
Abbasi discussed possible impediments to China’s progressive vision from various circles.
The former ambassador was of the opinion that the leadership of China should face the challenge to enhance the value of China’s currency and bring it on par with the US currency. If such a milestone can be achieved, it will have immense positive outcomes for China and the entire world.
Major General Jaffery said China’s rise as an alternative force to the US has positive outcomes for the entire world.
At the same time, he warned that some countries may try to hinder the progress of the Belt and Road Initiative as it is perceived as contrary to their interests of creating a hegemony in the region.
He said China is introducing a new economic world order as history shows that whenever a new order is introduced in the world there is bound to be conflict. More exchanges and better mutual understanding are needed to avoid such conflicts in the new century.
Lieutenant General Khan expressed appreciation for China’s rise through its continuous reforms. He believes that if China can overcome impediments from adversarial forces, it will continue to prosper.
Secretary Gondal complimented Xi’s creative ways of identifying problems in Chinese society and streamlining them with ground realities to find durable solutions.
He reiterated the importance of China’s role in the Indian Ocean, adding that no Indian Ocean policy can be durable without China playing an integral part in it.
Brigadier Akbar identified several impediments which could impact China’s growth, including its territorial disputes with Japan; the US and its allies using Taiwan as a proxy against Beijing’s interests; and the US deploying aircraft carriers in the Pacific Ocean which will have possible ramifications from the military perspective for China.
He called on the Chinese leadership to find strategic partners such as Germany and the United Kingdom.
Major General Ahmed supported this view, saying Germany could be a possible partner for China in Europe. He said such a partnership will have positive outcomes for Chinese interests in the global arena.
Tauqir Ahmad was impressed by China’s successful drive against corruption and said that a society cannot thrive unless it manages to eradicate the menace of corruption.
In conclusion, Ambassador Abbasi underlined the importance of the dialogue in understanding the polity and hierarchy of China.
He said this will help to identify new avenues for cooperation between Pakistan and China.