Winter Olympic Games promotes togetherness and prosperity
Editor's note: The writer is Director of Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies, Pakistan. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.
At the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games 2022, President Xi held a series of high-level in-person meetings with multiple dignitaries for the first time since the pandemic. The Beijing Olympics 2022 provided a golden opportunity for China to simultaneously host international dignitaries, including the head of states and many representatives of international organizations on the sidelines of the opening ceremony.
This kind of interaction may as well bridge the diplomatic gap caused by the global pandemic. China offered physical interaction amongst Chinese and global leaders. It further gives confidence to other leaders to embark on state visits under strict pandemic control measures.
President Xi engaged foreign dignitaries in a tight schedule during a long streak of meetings. The notable dignitaries, including the Secretary-General of the UN, President of the International Olympics Committee, President of Russia, Prime Minister of Pakistan, and Presidents of all Central Asian Republics.
During the bilateral meetings, a wide range of agendas covered the non-politicizing of sports, global vaccine drive, public health, development of BRI, cooperation under CPEC, and multilateralism. China took the foreign leaders into confidence over its core interests, including the One China policy, protection of human rights in the the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and security of BRI.
President Xi separately met with Secretary-General United Nations Antony Gutters and President of IOC Thomas Bach to discuss the importance of sports in promoting public health. President IOC Thomas Bach insinuated that the winter Olympics are the New Year gift for the Chinese people.
The Secretary-General of the UN also appreciated China for the fulfillment of international health commitments during the entire mega event. During the meeting with the President of Russia, both leaders expressed their trust and confidence in each other and reiterated the need of close cooperation. As China and Russia have been coordinating closely on strategic issues in the world, both stand for justice and fair practices in the world. The meetings with leaders of Central Asia were focused on cooperation in areas of trade, economy, energy, sports, security, and countering extremism.
BRI and its pilot project CPEC was discussed at length with Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, where progress on the second phase of development was reviewed. It is worth mentioning that both states are strategic partners and coordinate with each other on all regional and global issues. Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan also met with his Chinese counterpart. PM Imran hails the Chinese development model and intends to replicate it in Pakistan to bring people out of poverty. Both sides also issued an important statement at the end of the meetings.
Most significantly creating a path for a shared future for humanity has remained the epitome of China’s foreign policy, as the main theme of the winter Olympic games was the "shared future of mankind' to promote the sense of togetherness and prosperity.
Muhammad Asif Noor, the writer is Founder Director- Center for BRI and China Studies and Founder Friends of BRI Forum- Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies.