CPEC Golden Anchor Award leaves me over the moon, fully charged for 2021

Islamabad, December 28: I was presented the ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Golden Anchor Award’ today (December 28, 2020) leaving me over the moon and setting me fully charged for the New Year, 2021.

With a galaxy of leaders, diplomats and journalists, the only thing the event lacked was a physical stage, thanks to COVID-19. Everyone missed it and I missed it like crazy.

But full credit to the organizers who made the virtual event look like real and everybody could feel the other at the event while sitting thousands of kilometres apart.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Golden Anchor Award, initiated by China Economic Net, was officially launched in September 2018. The awards are designed to encourage the Chinese and Pakistani media to report objectively, truthfully and vividly on CPEC, and to establish media exchange mechanism between the media of the two countries, and between the media and the society, promoting smooth and efficient implementation of the CPEC projects.

The CPEC is an all-inclusive project that involves multiple stakeholders which has made it the topic of discussion around the globe. The CPEC Portal is facilitating media groups explore greater potential by establishing media collaboration between China and Pakistan.

The first CPEC Media Forum event was conducted in Islamabad by the Chinese Embassy in November 2015, in collaboration with Pakistan-China Institute.

This is my first ‘CPEC Golden Anchor Award’ and I am optimistic about fetching it every year. For me Pakistan-China friendship is very sacred and all my efforts to promote these ties are aimed at seeing the Iron Brothers flourishing.

The establishment of the CPEC Media Forum has paved way not only for international information sharing and news collaboration, but also for the people of both countries to learn about, and from, each other.

Realizing the importance of this across-the-border exchange through media, the CPEC portal welcomes all media agencies and journalists to partner with the CPEC Media Forum.

In recent years between 2013-18, Pakistan-China relations witnessed a qualitative transformation as the bilateral ties expanded from defence to the economic sphere.

The cooperation under the framework of CPEC is increasing Chinese investments in Pakistan’s energy and infrastructure sectors.

Expanding avenues of bilateral cooperation has led to emergence of new dynamics in the bilateral relations.

With increased inter-dependence, both countries are also navigating major power international politics. Beijing and Islamabad have increased their coordination for peace and stability in Afghanistan as well as at the multilateral forums including the United Nations (UN) and Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Traditional strategic cooperation is deepening to meet new geo-strategic challenges. Beyond CPEC, closer strategic engagement will determine the future direction of bilateral relations.

‘Pak-Cheen Dosti Zindabad (Long Live Pakistan-China friendship),’ was a famous jingle that ran on television channels back in the olden days.

Kids used to sing along and the elders in the family used to smile.

The friendship between Pakistan and China has brought both countries closer with each passing year.

It all began in 1950 when Pakistan entered diplomatic relations with the Republic of China. It served as the foundation of a long and fruitful friendship between the two countries. Pak-China relations became economically beneficial in the year 1979 and, soon enough, China became Pakistan’s third largest trading partner.

If we take a look into the past, we realize that China had provided considerable financial assistance in different circumstances.

Case in point: the economy of Pakistan suffered great loss at the time of the separation of West and East Pakistan (1969-1971). China provided a generous loan to Pakistan, which was later converted into a grant.

Nearly 50 years later, the economic cooperation between Pakistan and China has strengthened even more in the form of the CPEC. This route will support the economy of Pakistan as well as of China and will become an extremely profitable trade route upon possible completion in 2030.

As I thank the CEN, the CPEC and the China-Pakistan Institute, I firmly believe Pakistan and China have an everlasting future together. I wish to continue my mission until my last breath.

Shafqat Ali