New Delhi, July 30: Following Imran Khan's victory in the general elections held in Pakistan last week, his party - the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf - released a statement in mandarin assuring their commitment towards "strengthening" bilateral ties with China. The gesture was reciprocated by Beijing, whose state-run media went gaga over the PTI's landslide win.
Two op-eds published in the state-run Global Times sounded an optimistic note on Khan's victory, claiming that the cricketer-turned-politician will not only give a fresh impetus to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, but will also play a significant role in turning Pakistan away from the United States.
The editorial titled "Will Imran Khan pivot Pakistan from US to China?" claimed the new Pak PM will adopt an "un-capitalist" move while lifting a large section of the nation's populace out of poverty. To give credence to their prediction, the article relies on Khan's claim that he will adopt the "Chinese model" to end the menace of poverty.
The editorial further claims that Khan's political and economic views will not be aped from the West. His emphasis on creating a "welfare state", the article adds, indicates that the new government will adopt a "pro-people" approach rather than the "western capitalist economic policies".
The op-ed in Global Times also praises Khan for his retaliatory gesture against the dominant US under President Donald Trump.
"He is also a strong critic of US President Donald Trump, the US and US-led wars. In his latest address, he vowed to establish a balanced relationship with the US as against the current one being dominated by the US...Imran Khan's plan is a clear pivot by Pakistan, away from the US orbit and further into the Chineses bloc."
Here is the Mandarin tweet by PTI which evoked the warm gesture from China:
— PTI (@PTIofficial) July 27, 2018
Another editorial in the Global Times, titled "China-Pakistan ties, economic corridor will endure" attempts to brush away the skepticism in the Chinese quarters related to his apprehensive approach towards the CPEC project.
The article claims Khan had only suspected graft in the handling of CPEC by the ousted Pakistani government. His earlier "barrage of criticism" was directed against the then PM Nawaz Sharif, the editorial added.
Leading Pakistani daily, The News International, quoted a Chinese affair expert Tom Hussain as saying that Khan will have to further exhibit a warm approach towards Beijing in order to cover-up his earlier criticism of the CPEC project.