Editorial

People’s Republic of China was in the global limelight for extraordinary reasons. First, with a strong call for multilateralism and firm stand for better cooperation, shared prosperity, and destiny, Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) 2019 was concluded at Boao city in south China’s Hainan Province having the theme “Shared Future, Concerted Action, Common Development”.

Based on the model of the World Economic Forum, BFA has also been termed as “Asian Davos” wherein nearly 2000 delegates from 60 countries from across the globe including heads of governments, bureaucrats, business influential, representatives of global think tanks, professionals, and experts attended this important Asian gathering of leaders.

Driven by China and established in 2001, the BFA is considered the most important, open, and inclusive platform where political, business leaders, and scholars from across Asia and the globe. These experts from diverse fields come together also to find answers to pertinent issues of world politics, economy, regional peace, and prosperity.

Back in 2018, President Xi Jinping announced the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) which was held in the backdrop of the 70th-anniversary celebrations of Peoples of the Republic of China in Beijing, China from April 25-28, 2019.

This year’s theme was “Belt and Road Cooperation: Shaping a Brighter Shared Future.”  The Forum was inaugurated by President Xi Jinping on 26 April with his keynote speech in which he reiterated “China pays high regard to the implementation of bilateral and multilateral economic and trade agreements it has signed with other parties”.

It indicates the commitment of Chinese leadership to multilateralism and connectivity. Pakistan is an important part of BRI with CPEC as Crown of BRI and the enthusiasm of People from both sides to put an effort to make this one of the finest and active corridors of the multibillion-dollar project.

Prime Minister Imran Khan attended the BRF with a high-level delegation comprised of state ministers and advisors. Prime Minister of Pakistan has also delivered a keynote speech in the inaugural session of the BRF and participated in the Leaders’ Round Table, a meeting of all Heads of States attending BRF.

Moreover, Prime Minister Imran Khan also had bilateral meetings with President Xi, Chinese Premier Li, and officials of the Chinese Committee of Communist Party. Pakistan is a proud partner to Belt and Road Initiative. The BRI is not a simple upgrade from the ancient Silk Road. Instead, it borrows the historical symbol embodied in the ancient Silk Road and incorporates new connotations of the times.

BRI is about the international cooperation platform and public product provided by China to the world and an open and inclusive economic cooperation initiative. Currently, the mutual ongoing trade between China and countries and regions along BRI surpassed 6 trillion U.S. dollars from 2013 to 2018, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Apart from the development and regional cooperation initiatives like these, the world has witnessed the rise of terrorism, extremism, and fundamentalist ideologies. There is an increase in the far-right and states are unable to handle the rein of the hatemongers.  These acts are not akin to any one religion or a group but there is a growing trend of acute disparity and hatred.

After the heart-wrenching attacks in Christchurch in New Zealand, Sri Lanka was devastated this Easter where coordinated bombings killed hundreds of innocent lives when the terrorist attack on churches, hotels, and resorts killed more than 350 people. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.

It is very loud and clear that terrorists have no religion and they are operating for their own sinister motivations, killing innocent lives.  In these difficult times, one must appreciate the leadership of New Zealand equally to Sri Lanka for handling the entire situation in a manner that has made it possible to keep the fabric of the society intact.

Especially in the era of fake news and misinformation that may lead to another disaster especially in a country like Sri Lanka which has bravely fought to end the long civil war in 2009.

A fragile society always comes under the threat where chance and risks of revenge attacks and retaliatory violence cause further instability in the country.  The world needs to take firm and coordinated action against terrorism especially when the hatred and hatemongers are outstripping the call for peace and tolerance.

 

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TDI
The Diplomatic Insight, Pakistan's premier Public Diplomacy Magazine, has been at the forefront of promoting Peace Through Informed Dialogue since its inception in 2009. With both print and electronic versions, this decade-old media house is offering research, analysis, and public diplomacy outreach to clients in Pakistan and across the globe. TDI is now offering Amazon Kindle Self Publishing Services to diplomats, ambassadors, political leaders, academicians, and other civil society leaders to be the next best-seller authors. With access to 11 global markets and the option to translate your work into 11 languages, you can reach up to 300 million readers worldwide and unlock your personal and country branding.