KARACHI: At the launch of his latest book Chinese Soft Power Code, Syed Hasan Javed spoke about the new era in global politics and economics which will see China at the hub of all progress. The ceremony held at the Institute of Business Management (IoBM) on Wednesday introduced the power of China as more than just economic terms; it harnesses a soft power too, which incorporates the concept of social capital.
Mr Javed has served the country in many capacities and has many credentials under his belt. Currently the ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, he has also served as a diplomat in Beijing for almost 10 years, and credits the rise of the global power of China to the result of their “core values of righteousness, humility, discipline, loyalty and perseverance”.
Mr Javed explained the concept of soft power which was the ability of a country to persuade others to do what it wants, without force and coercion, a departure from the use of hard power through military and economic means. “I learnt about soft power from the practice in the daily life of the Chinese.” To achieve excellence in soft power, Mr Javed believes, China uses its centuries-old history and language, “an archive of Chinese culture”.
‘It is important to train our business graduates to qualify for companies operating in China’
China’s history and culture provide support to its growing status as a world economy, overshadowing other major superpowers, added Mr Javed.
“The transformation happening in China happens in centuries and in Pakistan we must harness the soft power they practice to propel Pakistan onto the path of development,” said Mr Javed, while citing examples of the work ethic and complete dedication he saw in Chinese workers.
“This is why we must adopt these practices and learn from them on an individual as well as government level,” he added.
“It is important to train our future business graduates to qualify for companies operating in, and originating from China, as these will in the near future become global companies, employing a global force, said Mr Javed. “This will be possible if we develop a cultural and social corridor of exchange, along with an economic one,” he insisted.
Pakistan’s population boom was also the subject of debate at the book launch, which according to Mr Javed, is not necessarily a negative thing. “An emerging population, similar to China’s, can be utilised in a more productive direction. However, in Pakistan, the distribution of resources is not fair, and the elite, unlike in East Asian countries, are not pro-development.”
In a world overflowing with hard power, Mr Javed believes the critical edge for global leadership will be provided by soft power. This is why China is fast becoming a model for lesser developed countries to follow.
Dr Shahida Wizarat, head of the international affairs at the IoBM, praised Mr Javed’s contribution in providing an intimate look into the inner workings of China. “This book provides a wealth of knowledge and has compressed complex ideas in a limited space, tackling the relatively newer concept of soft power,” she said.
According to her, soft power can bring nations together and should be discussed in greater detail with regards to interstate relations. “Many ancient civilisations have been eclipsed in the modern world, yet China has survived and prospered. This is also because of the soft power it yields, along with conventional hard power.”
The book launch was also attended by Mr Talib Karim, Rector of IoBM, and senior minister Mr Nisar Khuhro.
Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2015