Jan Achakzai |
China’s some 3,000 of the most powerful officials are preparing for the annual parliamentary huddle known as the National People’s Congress, (NPC), which opens March 5, 2019. The NPC runs concurrently with China’s top political advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference or CPPCC.
The NPC, the main legislative body which will make some very important decisions, together with the CPPCC is commonly known as “two sessions”. The meeting is very significant as it will chalk out China’s medium-term goals in foreign policy, economy and another aspect of the Chinese government’s activities through its subordinate departments to spur China’s rise as world major power.
The NPC, the main legislative body which will make some very important decisions, together with the CPPCC is commonly known as “two sessions”.
The NPC’s gathering has deep meaning for the stability and the development of China. It will create new pathways for the Chinese development trajectory and mark the beginning of a new phase of Chinese’s journey on the path of growth and prosperity. It will help set in a new vision for Chinese success story as an emerging economic powerhouse.
It will also determine the new contours of Chinese quest to transition its economy from low tech producing base to high tech economic hub bringing the country at par with the US in innovation and technology. Further synergy and resolve will be created to consolidate China’s efforts for the BRI’s implementation. Beijing will likely for the first time looking at ways to allocate more resources for Research & Development (R&D) and deep reforms in education so as to come at par with the US in terms of creating soft power leverage as well.
Chinese Huddle has Far-Reaching Consequences
However, for the rest of us, the gathering has far-reaching effects on the world order and its structures. The grand meeting likely further boosts the pivot of China to balance the US-led geopolitical and economic world order in many ways: more resources will be made available to China-led lending institutions to help reduce developing countries’ reliance on IMF and other multilateral western financial institutions as lenders of the last resort.
The NPC’s gathering has deep meaning for the stability and the development of China.
Efforts will be expedited to invest more in the basic infrastructure of developing countries to lay the ground for the economic growth of these countries and create what Beijing calls as “win-win situations”.
China will be more assertive in encouraging multipolar geopolitical order particularly bolstering efforts to find solutions to problems affecting regions connected by the BRI. Robust diplomacy and economic muscles will be used to encourage trade, connectivity, and human development.
China’s Active Support vs Post-Pulwama India?
Islamabad as close ally of China and connector of the flagship project, CPEC, expects the grand huddle in more than one ways. As Pakistan has hard options to deal with Indian burgeoning bellicosity as new normal in the post-Pulwama world, Islamabad is increasingly hard-pressed to look forward to Chinese as a strategic sponsor against Delhi’s hostile intent.
After all, Pakistan is on the hot bend due to, a) the CPEC, b) closed China-Pakistan embrace-a fact the US does not like in the context of bigger US-China rivalry, c) India considers Pakistan as the strategic launch pad of Beijing to encircle Delhi hence its hostile posture towards Islamabad.
Efforts will be expedited to invest more in the basic infrastructure of developing countries to lay the ground for the economic growth.
Most importantly, India with its rising economic clout has outgrown China in ambitions wanting to be Chinese specific as a strategic rival. Hence there is even more justification to keep it off the balance before it meaningfully serves the US led-coalition of the willing against the spectacular rise of Beijing. Therefore, the Chinese leadership is increasingly expected to help check expending hostile Indian designs in the Indian Ocean, South, West Asia, and the Far East.
At a time when the US has demonized Islamabad and glorified India, Pakistan will like Beijing help in recognizing and marketing Pakistan’s efforts for regional peace and stability to the world.
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These efforts include Pakistan’s contributions to Quadrilateral, multilateral forums, Islamabad‘s sacrifices in counter-terrorism, securing western security in form of anti-Al Qaeda efforts, keeping peace in conflict zones in terms of peacekeeping role in various parts of the world including Africa; besides, its grand efforts to bring stability to Afghanistan through facilitating Afghan reconciliation.
Clearly, with Chinese help, Pakistan seeks to stabilize its economy by developing its free trade zones, broadening its skewed exporting products, linking its economy with China’s, giving preferential treatment to its goods and services through generous FTA & PTA regimes. Pakistan also likes supplementing its efforts in stabilizing the country against foreign-sponsored proxy games to lay the ground for Chinese private investment.
Islamabad as close ally of China and connector of the flagship project, CPEC, expects the grand huddle in more than one ways.
With growing Indo-American convergence against the CPEC, Pakistan expects from the gathering to stand by in the face of any potential hostile US or Indian intent. The context is even clearer when the US signs up to the Indian claim of “disputed territory” mantra in opposing the CPEC and by extension the BRI—as the previous US Defence Secretary of Trump Administration opined.
Pakistan Expects China’s Assertive role in Conflict Resolutions
Islamabad also expects China to play a more assertive role at the world stage including conflict resolutions and in active theatres like Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq. Islamabad expects more robust Chinese role in helping to end the global recession and check the US in its efforts against globalization of goods, services, and labour.
It expects new Chinese resolve to work for a new rule- based UN and other forums so as to make them more inclusive bodies instead of functioning as relics of the post Second World War geopolitical order envisaged and led by the US. Pakistan expects completion of Euro-Asia pivot—a new realignment of regional heavyweights from Russian to Pakistan and the Middle East led by the rising Chinese leadership.
Jan Achakzai is a geopolitical analyst, a politician from Baluchistan, and ex-advisor to the Baluchistan Government on media and strategic communication. He remained associated with BBC World Service. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.