Pak-Sino Year of Friendship Should Not Be “Kitty-Party” Of Elite In Pakistan

Pakistan and China decided to celebrate 2019 as year of friendship and to establish friendship city relationships between Chinese and Pakistani cities and provinces. Honestly – “All-Weather, Time-Tested, All-Dimension, Sweeter Than Honey, and Higher Than The Height Of Himalayas and Deeper Than The Depths Of Arabian Sea” – slogans about friendship with China are very popular in Pakistan, but Pakistani politicians, executives, policymakers and economists have never made an effort to truthfully learn lessons from the world’s second largest economy and science, technology and innovation (ST&I) raising power.Scientific knowledge and its use in technology and socioeconomic development have become increasingly global. Quantum computing and communication, artificial intelligence, robotics, big-data mining, the search for dark matter, genetic and biomedical engineering, brain science – and the list of potentially escalating research goes on. Each has momentous implications for future industries, defense technologies, societal and economic development. And, surprisingly, the remarkable achievements in these fields are coming not from the great centers of science in the West, but Beijing, Shanghai, Hefei, Shenzhen, Wuhan and a number of other Chinese cities.

In recent years, China has emerged as a new science and technology (S&T) powerhouse. A key indicator of the rise of China in science and technology (S&T) is its spending on research and development (R&D). Chinese R&D investment has grown remarkable over the past two decades. China is now the second-largest performer in terms of R&D spending, and accounts for approximately 20 percent of total world R&D expenditure. China’s rise in S&T is not an accident. Successive Chinese leaderships have seen S&T as essential to socioeconomic growth and have accordingly taken steps to develop the country’s S&T-related infrastructure. S&T enlargement and innovation figure outstandingly in the current thirteenth five-year plan (2016-20). China’s National Medium-and Long-Term Program for Science and Technology Development, is a striving plan to transform the Chinese economy into a major center of innovation by the year 2020 and make it the global leader in S&T and innovation by 2050.

Consequently, S&T played a vital role in the rapid socioeconomic development of China. The Chinese development mold has proved successful, and Pakistan should seriously learn from it. Pakistan is passing through its worst economic crisis, primarily caused by corruption, nepotism and weak institutions. With the news political scenario, Pakistan needs to devise a new ST&I policy. It may be anticipated, Pakistan will take off economically if science and technology (S&T), research and development (R&D) will be focal-point of the engine of development. There is no short cut on the path of productive and sustainable development. China has proved it through its hard-earned position. The road for Pakistan will not be dissimilar. In order to develop a strong economy and socioeconomic development, Pakistan need to follow China’s example and make ST&I and R&D the focal point for development of nation.

About Mirza Abdul Aleem Baig 17 Articles
Mirza Abdul Aleem Baig is CAS-TWAS President’s Fellow at USTC, Biomedical Health Informatics Professional and freelance Science Writer.