PM Khan rules out any downgrading of relations with China
Says Islamabad will not buckle down under any pressure: Commends Beijing for introducing alternative model to Western democracy
Talking to the Chinese journalists in Islamabad on Thursday, Imran Khan observed an “economic war” has started between the US-led West and China. “It would be disastrous to divide the world into parts and it would not be appropriate for the US and other Western countries to force us to support their group,” he added.
The Prime Minister praised the Communist Party of China (CPC) as having a unique model, calling it an alternative to Western democracy. Imran said: "Until now, we had been told that the best way for societies to improve was through Western democracy.
"The CPC has introduced an alternative model and they have beaten all Western democracies in the way they have highlighted merit in society," he said.
Imran Khan maintained that society only succeeds when it has systems in place for holding the ruling elite accountable and ensuring meritocracy. "Until now, the feeling was that electoral democracy is the best way to bring merit and hold leaders accountable. But the CPC has achieved much better without democracy. Their system for sifting through talent and bringing it up is better than the democratic system," he said.
The prime minister also praised the "flexibility" of the system. "In our society and in Western democracies, it is difficult to bring change as you are bound by rules and regulations," he said, lamenting the fact that democracies only plan for "the next five years".
He said that leaders like Chinese President Xi Jinping worked their way up from the bottom. "One can only become a leader after going through a long struggle. This process is not present in Western democracies. An American president doesn't go through this rigorous process."
He said that when leaders like Xi reach the top, they are able to completely understand the system, one that is "unique to China."
Imran Khan highlighted Pakistan's strong ties with China. "Whenever Pakistan has been in trouble, politically or internationally, China has always stood with us. The people of China have a special place in the hearts of Pakistanis," he said, adding relations between the two countries have only gotten stronger.
"You see a strange great power rivalry in the region. The United States is wary of China and has formed a regional alliance called the 'Quad'.
He said that Pakistan is committed to strengthening relations with China whether it be politically or economically. "The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a flagship project," he said, adding he will be going to Gwadar next week to oversee development work. He said that he was also looking forward to his trip to China which is in the offing.
Commenting on the economic relationship between the two countries, Imran Khan said he sees this moving forward. "The next phase of CPEC is very exciting for Pakistan. We plan to attract Chinese investment for special economic zones as our labour is cheaper."
He said that Pakistan can learn a lot from China when it comes to agriculture. "China's agricultural productivity is much higher, and I hope that we can benefit from the latest techniques and technology."
Imran said that despite what the world may think of China due to its economic dominance, it admired President Xi. "The way china dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic was unique, considering that it started there. When you look at the rest of the world, China stands out," he said, adding Islamabad was grateful to Beijing for the help extended during the fight against the coronavirus.