(ECNS) -- The world is in a state of great uncertainty and China can play a very critical role in dealing with various challenges, said former Minister of State of Pakistan Haroon Sharif, while giving an interview with China News Network about the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
"We're living in great uncertainty. We’re living in times of emerging new conflicts," said Sharif, who is also a senior advisor to the United Nations.
The global economy is in a grave slowdown and new conflicts are emerging. U.S.-led forces withdrew from Afghanistan, and the U.S.-India strategic partnership is growing.
Liquidity is shrinking and interest rates are going up, he said, adding that there are issues of food supply chain disruptions, very high inflation, and potential food security challenges to many countries, which could lead to social unrest and destabilization.
Sharif believes that China can play a very critical role due to its position in the world and its economic positioning in the globe, while focusing on internal development and economic growth.
China can play a pivotal role to neighbors like Pakistan, to actually contribute in terms of food security and connectivity, and in easing the lives of common people, said the former chairman of Pakistan’s Board of Investment.
Several centers of economic gravity are rising, and China is one of the leaders, he added.
Sharif said there is a vacuum globally in terms of leadership when western societies, particularly Europe, the UK, are struggling to give a very clear steer.
But China is setting a very serious agenda, which is focused on human development, education, innovation and technological advancements, Sharif noted. "It gives a clear message that China does not need any hegemony or expansionist foreign policy. It needs to engage with countries for mutual benefits," he said.
The tone set by the Chinese leadership for the next five years will bring more stability in the region, he said.
China should play a deeper role in its multilateral engagement through the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and other tools, so that the region can deal with the shrinking liquidity globally and investment requirements to meet its infrastructure needs, investment needs, and food security needs, he noted.
The economist thinks the West should start learning from the modern delivery that China has been using to sustain economic growth, continued stability, and equal opportunities for the people.
In the Asian economic century, China is repositioning itself to play a positive contribution in terms of shared prosperity and stability globally, he said.