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Talk about China – Part 1

Mubasher Mir, President, KEC visited People’s Republic of China as a Head of Media delegation. Around 30 episodes will appear as his observations and analysis in these columns.

It was a warm June night, when our plane landed at Beijing International Airport, the capital of China. As the head of the media delegation, it was my responsibility to contact the host and other members after the necessary accessories, including immigration. And getting the luggage was the first responsibility, to reach the destination. In today’s modern era, the hardships of travel that people used to bear in the past have become a thing of the past. International Airports providing immense travel facilities with lightning speed and comfortable aircraft are there to serve the mankind. And as the best means of communication are providing us opportunities to communicate with each other in many ways. Our generation should be grateful to modern technology that has removed the pain of distance.

Miss Tong, Official Coordinator of KEC Media delegation.

Our host coordinator Miss Tong was waiting for us at the airport lobby but we still had to step through the immigration counter, but I immediately enabled the free WiFi facility, right from the start of our journey from Pakistan. I was contacted by my host. Western social networking sites in China cannot support themselves. They operate their own networks in China. WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, Gmail etc are largely ineffective. WeChat – WeChat is China’s own network, if you plan to travel to China, you must install this app, there are more people connected to it in China.

The Forbidden City.

I did this work in Karachi due to Shabbar Naqvi’s expertise in IT. Now at the airport I felt comfortable telling my host that we had disembarked safely and would go through the other stages to reach her. The host’s expertise was in Chinese but thanks to technology we were able to message each other with the help of a translator in WeChat. She was responding to my electronic messages by translating it into Chinese and I was reading her messages in simple English. However, I could not get the facility to read the message in Urdu, but Google translator also has Urdu, I was thinking that this translator will not give us the opportunity to talk to each other in sign language, which has its own fun.
The immigration officials wanted to know from each member of our delegation what we journalists had come together to do. The media in China is actually controlled by the state, there is a cold war situation with the Western countries, especially the United States and its allies, including the United Kingdom, Europe, South Korea, Japan, Australia and India. China Taiwan conflict, North Korea issues, China’s growing economic and political power, China-Russia friendship, Pakistan-China Economic Corridor, Belt and Road Project, many issues even then US trade with China, is going on but also political rivals. Recently, China has played a great role to restore diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran. This is another challenge for the United States.
To counter Western propaganda, China has introduced its own style of politics and governance that does not tolerate outside interference, which is why the power of the media has been made part of the power of the state. Media institutions are the government’s own institutions, just as the forces and political institutions work to protect the interests of the State, so the Chinese media helps in this regard. This is the reason why more information is gained about journalists from other countries. They are also not allowed to report without permission, although Pakistan and China are friends and brother countries, but still the protocol was observed.
Without any serious problems we cleared the immigration stage and proceeded. If there was any information from the host, it would not have been too late. When we reached the other terminal to get the luggage, all the people of our flight were gone. Our luggage was waiting for us. She had been waiting for a long time and jumped at the sight of us, we felt like old friends were welcoming each other. I thought to myself that it is good now we will teach her Urdu directly, although she was learning English. Miss Tong hailed the bus which was in the parking lot and we set off for the hotel.

The symbol of Pak-China Friendship.