Islamabad : 18 May, 2020.
“Cooperation between Pakistan and China against COVID-19 is an example for international community to follow as it is time for international cooperation and unity”, stated H.E. Yao Jing, Ambassador of People’s Republic of China addressing Soft Launch of Special Edition of PIVOT Magazine focusing on China-Pakistan cooperation against COVID-19.
PIVOT is quarterly magazine of China-Pakistan Study Centre (CPSC) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad. CPSC has published a Special Edition of PIVOT titled ‘China-Pakistan Combating COVID-19 Together’ which carries special contributions from Foreign Minister of China, H.E. Wang Yi, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, and renowned Pakistani scholars and analysts on various dimensions of COVID-19 and Pakistan-China cooperation.
Dr. Talat Shabbir, Director CPSC, introduced the Special Edition of PIVOT, and highlighted that PIVOT was launched with the goal of creating awareness among general public, academic, and media about diverse relations between Pakistan and China. Special edition advances same goal and sheds light on the steps taken by China to combat the pandemic.
Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director-General ISSI, in his remarks, underscored that we will fight COVID-18 collectively as humanity has faced and battled such pandemic before. History shows that beating pandemics requires collective actions from all nations. He noted that PIVOT magazine has become popular and CPSC prepared special edition on short notice.
Ambassador Masood Khalid, member of CPSC advisory board and former ambassador to China, reviewing special editions noted that CPSC has done a remarkable job in a short period of time. Commenting on the pandemic he noted that while the world has interconnected through globalization and made strides in technology, we are helpless against the powerful virus. World is divided, while the invisible enemy is changing global political and economic landscape impacting billions of lives. He underscored that despite global divisions, Pakistan-China have demonstrated force of cooperation amidst the pandemic.
Dr. Huma Baqai, Associate Dean at the Institute of Business Administration, in her review underlined that PIVOT is an important contribution to narrative in challenging times. While emerging power and the current super power should have been fighting pandemic together, as blame games will not help anyone. She noted that Pakistan and China in together in fight against COVID-19, and also in putting across our viewpoints.
Dr. Abdul Rauf, a faculty member of National University of Science & Technology (NUST), and regular contributor to the PIVOT, commended CPSC for producing a comprehensive magazine covering broad range of topics. On COVID-19, he noted early, swift and strong action of China to control spread of disease. China employed technology in its response as an enabler. Pakistan can learn lessons in pandemic control from China.
In his keynote address, Ambassador Yao Jing, commended CPSC for producing a special edition highlighting cooperation between Pakistan and China against coronavirus. He underscored that first Pakistan sent nearly 1million PPEs to China in February, and when virus hit Pakistan, China has so far sent over 7 million masks to Pakistan. He underscored that while Pakistan is undertaking preventive measures against COVID-19, China is collaborating in economic revival. Both governments are coordinating on next phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), particularly, supporting construction of new projects. China is willing to extend cooperation in development of hydropower projects and speed up negotiations on ML-I projects. In his remarks, Ambassador Yao especially referred to suffering of people of Kashmir, as they are facing extraordinary hardships of detentions and pandemic in these challenging times.
Ms. Kanwal Shauzab, Parliamentary Secretary for Planning, Development & Special Initiative addressed the webinar as Chief Guest. She underscored that COVID-19 Pandemic carries significant challenges for socio-economic structures across the world, and dealing with it requires cooperation among international community. She highlighted that Pakistan can learn from China’s experience of controlling the outbreak of pandemic and also opening up of economy. She commended CPSC for producing special issues with focus on COVID-19, which sets narrative for future discussions.
Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman ISSI, in his concluding remarks, said that PIVOT has made its mark during past 18 months through focus on quality. Special edition is a step in the right direction. On pandemic Ambassador Mahmood highlighted that international community need to work together, more than ever with cooperative spirit. As China has shown that it is extending assistance to over 100 countries across the world. Similarly, other big powers need to come forward.
Report by Sohail Majeed Butt.