News of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), part of the Belt and Road, was received well by Pakistani residents, as shared by the country's former ambassador to China and the United States Akram Zaki to CGTN.
Mr. Zaki was also the Secretary General and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. He explained why he firmly believes the Belt and Road Initiative will succeed amid the changing world order and geopolitics.
Pakistan is facing pressure from neighboring countries, as the current geopolitical situation might increase the difficulty for Pakistan to implement the Belt and Road Initiative in the region, Zaki said.
A navy official stands guard in front of the Cosco Wellington ship.
"Previously, there was a time where Pakistan was exclusively dependent on the US. And the US has a psychology that when you are too pliant, they press you more. But if you take a stand, then they…So once they realize that we have China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, who are also supporting Pakistan, they will also be a little bit more balanced in dealing with us," Zaki added.
Security is another factor to take into the account as a huge amount of investments are involved in the projects for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, but Zaki showed confidence in the two countries' ability to cooperate.
"I think Pakistan has created two brigades of something for the security of the CPEC route. Pakistan’s armed forces have played a critical role in combating sponsored terrorism. And they have had considerable success. It is not acknowledged by everybody. But it is a fact," Zaki stated.
Navy personnel stand guard at Gwadar Port
With China's proposed version of new globalization, the Belt and Road seeks to put shared prosperity as its main focus.
Zaki acknowledged the approach and said the philosophy is "a new dream and new approach."
"I personally think this Chinese dream is a dream of a peaceful world, of shared prosperity and common welfare. And this is very popular and very constructive. And in this One Belt and One Road project, CPEC is linking the two. I think the Chinese version is going to prevail. China will still be the leading cultural, economic and political influence,” said Zaki.