Be patient Pakistan, millions of jobs are coming to the 2nd phase of the CPEC
- Chinese companies supplied more 100,000 jobs for Pakistanis in the first phase of the CPEC, said Li Bijian
KARACHI: The Consul General (CG) of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Li Bijian, said that Chinese companies have provided more than 100,000 direct jobs to Pakistani workers in the first phase of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and that Pakistanis would benefit from millions more jobs in the second phase of CPEC – the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) pilot project.
“In addition to helping power generation, bringing investments, creating jobs and reviving the Pakistani economy, Chinese investors have also brought about change in the social and economic transformation of Pakistan. Today, hope has conquered despair and the Pakistani economy is ranked among a few booming economies in the world, ”the Chinese diplomat said in an exclusive interview with Pakistan Today.
Sitting in a cozy office and dressed in traditional Chinese attire, the Chinese CG looked disturbed by the lack of appreciation for the contributions made by Chinese workers and investors by a section of the Pakistani media.
The CG said Chinese companies have helped revive the Pakistani economy by purchasing a large amount of local materials, increasing the country’s exports and indirectly employing millions of people.
He said Chinese companies have contributed to the socio-economic development of Pakistan.
“Chinese companies have built infrastructure projects, including highways, power plants, ports, airports and telecommunication facilities, and so on. Chinese companies have also built roads, schools, hospitals, clinics and water treatment facilities in Pakistan. The local population has benefited enormously from these projects, ”he said.
Li Bijian said that most of the projects of the first phase of the CPEC were completed, including the modernization of the Karakorum highway, Gwadar port, fiber optic cable, dams and power plants which signify the contribution of China to the economic and social development of Pakistan.
The Chinese diplomat, however, lamented that despite all these contributions, some elements still blame China for all the wrongs they encounter.
“We need to change the rhetoric about CPEC and cooperation between China and Pakistan. We have to tell people how Chinese companies are helping Pakistan. Chinese companies still adhere to the practice of doing more and talking less, as silence is a strong way to contribute to friendly countries. The outside media, however, is playing their tricks and misleading people, ”he said.
He said it is an irony that the outside media say that Chinese companies have done no good in Pakistan and that some people are buying the false claims.
“The same Western countries refused to come and invest in Pakistan when Pakistan needed foreign investment. Finally, it was the Chinese who came to Pakistan in 2013, when Pakistan was facing the worst electricity shortage, at its peak, ”he said.
Li said the Pakistanis must recognize everything we have done for Pakistan. “The Pakistani people must have a sense of appreciation for Chinese companies. Pakistanis should not be so easily deceived by the false propaganda of the outside media, ”he added.
He said that some Western media still try to tarnish the good work that China is doing in Pakistan.
“Pakistanis must have a sense of justice. Pakistanis should know that things have changed a lot and that the whole of Pakistan has benefited a lot since the start of the CPEC ”.
“When Chinese companies came here, Pakistan was facing tough times due to the power cuts and Pakistani industry was moving to other countries and investors were moving to Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates and even the United Arab Emirates. India. Today, after almost eight years, Pakistan has turned into power generation and today you have a surplus of electricity. With the growth of exports and incomes, the Pakistani economy is on the rise again – thanks to the CPEC, ”he said.
Mr. Li Bijian lamented that some sections of the Pakistani media, possibly under the influence of outside propaganda, also reported negatively on CPEC.
“But we don’t care much and would continue to work for the welfare of the Pakistani people. Chinese engineers and staff posts here have sacrificed their lives and made great efforts for Pakistan. Most of them have been estranged from their families in the past two years in this era of the pandemic. They could not go to meet their families in China and contributed to the implementation of CPEC projects on time, ”he said.
“China’s sacrifices, dedication and contributions must be recognized by the Pakistani people,” he said and added that Chinese investors and workers are gravely hurt when they see Pakistani media speaking the language. hostile forces.
The senior diplomat warned that if this situation persisted, Chinese investors could be frightened.
“Ultimately, the Pakistani people would suffer if Chinese investments also left. This callous attitude towards Chinese companies may prove to be detrimental to the interests of Pakistan and its people. The CPEC authority should do something about it, ”he added.
When asked if the Pakistani government had been of any help in changing narratives, the Chinese diplomat said words had to be supplemented with actions.
Balochistan special destination for Chinese investments
The Chinese Consul General mentioned some recently launched projects to help support the people of Balochistan, including the Quetta Blood Transfusion Center and the Balochistan Women’s Support Study Center.
“Baluchistan is a sparsely populated Pakistani province with about 43 percent of the total area of Pakistan. The province also has a particular historical context. We try to reach as many people as possible and to propose poverty reduction projects. Some of the projects are in Gwadar. The Gwadar Vocational Training Institute has been completed and handed over to the Pakistani government. The interns would be recruited in February of this year, ”he said.
“The port of Gwadar has been in operation for several years but its capacity has not been fully utilized. The authorities are working to get more commercial and transit cargoes started last year to Afghanistan and some Central Asian states, ”he said.
“The LNG terminal has also been installed and operational. We hope the people of Balochistan will greatly benefit from the completion of other key projects such as the new Gwadar International Airport, the East Bay Express Way and the Gwadar Friendship Hospital ”.
He said the local people of Gwadar should be patient and wait for the completion of these projects.
“You shouldn’t expect things to change in Gwadar overnight. Gwadar’s transformation would take some time. They must have a rational attitude towards the projects because the transformation requires an adequate timetable ”.
He said the southern pilot zone of the Gwadar Free Zone had so far attracted a few dozen businesses and was functioning well. He said the northern zone of the free zone has been opened for investment.
“A fertilizer project was recently started the initial work and is progressing. She strongly believes that more investors will come and start their businesses. All these efforts would add to the fortunes of the people of Balochistan ”.
Referring to the mining development projects in Balochistan, Chinese Consul General Li Bijian said the local population has benefited enormously from China’s mining development projects in Saindak and Duddar.
Li said that Chinese companies working on these two projects have been working hard on the social improvement of residents as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) mandate. He said residents have received almost all basic necessities, including water, electricity, schools, clinics and roads. They benefit enormously from these projects, he added.
He said the people of Hub also benefit from the Hub power plant in the Lasbela region of Balochistan. He said the electricity produced by the Chinese power plant has been connected to the national grid through a transmission line and continuously supplies power for the smooth operation of Pakistan’s gigantic economic powerhouse.
He said China has also contributed to the social development of Balochistan in the education and health sectors.
He said that the China International Development Cooperation Agency had particularly focused on the social and economic development of Balochistan, and that some “small but beautiful” projects, including schools, clinics, water, electricity and training, etc. will be implemented in due course.
He said that China, together with the Pakistani side, has decided to provide solar panels to the local people of Gwadar to help them meet their electricity needs.
Li Bijian said the person-to-person exchange program has been hit hard by the pandemic. He said China plans to restart the project once the pandemic ends. So far, he said, dozens of delegations of officials, tribal leaders, students and young people have been invited to China from Balochistan. He said this process will continue.