Is China really colonising Pakistan? Jiao Nie and Yao Wang
Some critics have claimed that CPEC could become another East India Company' and Pakistan: a Chinese colony
MAY 19, 2018
Five years have elapsed ever since the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor initiative (CPEC) was proposed by the Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in May 2013, and changes have been taking place in every corner of Pakistan, including the inauguration of the new Islamabad International Airport.
During the past five years, we travelled many places in Pakistan and were welcomed with enthusiasm and thoughtful receptions whenever we met Pakistani people. Whether rich or poor, we found that the people of Pakistan are quite friendly to Chinese. Pakistan is one of the most trusted countries and also becoming increasingly significant to many Chinese, whether they are highest top Chinese leaders or ordinary Chinese people in general.
The mainstream of Pakistani media is always positive and supportive of Pak-China relations and the CPEC initiative. Unfortunately, fewer arguments and negative comments were published and impacted their readers in varying degrees, and need to be clarified right here, for some critics have claimed that CPEC could become another East India Company’ and Pakistan: a Chinese colony?
What needs to be pointed out is that we experienced several invasions and suffered a lot in fighting invaders in history, and had bad insinuations with the word of Colony. Therefore?it’s sad to see that colony was used to describe Pak-China relations by our few Pakistani brothers.
When it comes to those huge debts mentioned in previous articles, the international community should be more worried about Pakistan’s ability to repay them
On the other hand, we believe that Pakistan is a democratic country and those open discussions are not always harmful to enhance our bilateral relations, but meanwhile, we also wish to clarify the truth and the facts, instead of fabricating many lies deliberately.
To colonize a country, political, ideological, economical and several measures are implied. While the truth is that Pakistan is an independent country and respectfully has its own political system and ideological system. During the past seven decades, China has never imposed our political systems or ideology on Pakistan. Now, the discussion comes to the economic system, the way we Chinese do business with Pakistani is same as any other countries do business in Pakistan, and all the activities are approved by the Pakistani government and under the control of Pakistani legal system.
So how it is possible to make Pakistan a colony of China? Indeed, we never deny that there were some Chinese who were involved in wrongdoings in Pakistan, but the solution is quite easy and simple i.e. to send them to the court and receive their own punishments. To be honest, their behaviour would not be allowed even in China.
Pakistani people are the most genius people that we have ever met in the world, however, acts of commercial dishonesty, fraudulent trading, temporary deprivation by Pakistanis were regularly reported by Pakistani media.
As scholars, we also worry that our government and state-owned enterprises won’t be able to recover these huge investments in this regard, for most of those funds are majorly collected by taxing every single common Chinese citizen. When it comes to those huge debts mentioned in previous articles, the international community should be more worried about the repayment ability of Pakistan.
In terms of the projects under the name of CPEC initiatives, all the treaties were signed and proved by the most talented people from both sides. As mentioned earlier, it’s not an easy job to do business with Pakistan, and how is it possible to cheat so many talented and well educated Pakistani elites in a legally sound democracy country? In case our Pakistani friends find every single treaty that is unequal, they should go through official procedures or bring it to the court, rather than speaking ill behind our backs.
Pakistan is a great country with a sound legal system and a time-tested democracy system, and we respect Pakistani culture and dignity in this regard. We, Chinese people, regard Pakistan as a window to understanding the Islamic world and the gateway to communicate with the entire region. That is why this is a win-win situation and the mutual benefit will meet the need of two brotherhood countries, and more open discussions are not harmful yet quite necessary for Pak-China future. Last but not least, we Chinese people are quite easy to get along with and have no interest to colonize any country in the world including Pakistan.
(Huazhong TU, Scholar, Tsinghua University & Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences, China. Jiao NIE & Yao WANG, Scholars, Yunnan University, China.
Published in Daily Times, May 19th 2018.