When governments are concerned about reality or hard facts they resort to gimmicks. Most pragmatic people today agree that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is not the panacea it was promised to be and that Pakistan may end up becoming so deep in China’s debt that it will face long term consequences very few people have thought through. This is why for the last year the government appears to be encouraging gimmicks on youtube and social media.
Last April 2017 many of us viewed an advertisement by Shan Foods for their premade biryani masala mix in which a young Chinese woman, residing in Lahore with her husband who works for a Chinese company that is part of CPEC, uses the masala to prepare biryani and thus build a bond with her Pakistani neighbors. The advertisement went viral serving the government’s purpose of focusing on the ‘feel good’ rather than the reality.
The reality about CPEC was revealed in Dawn the following month, May 2017. As per Dawn’s report “The plan lays out in detail what Chinese intentions and priorities are in Pakistan for the next decade and a half, details that have not been discussed in public thus far. The plan envisages a deep and broad-based penetration of most sectors of Pakistan’s economy as well as its society by Chinese enterprises and culture. Its scope has no precedent in Pakistan’s history in terms of how far it opens up the domestic economy to participation by foreign enterprises.”
Now we hear of news reports that Chinese and Pakistani filmmakers will cooperate in scriptwriting, shooting, post-production, and screening of “a movie showcasing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to highlight the “intimate friendship” of the people from the two countries. The movie named “The Journey” will tell stories of Chinese businesses participating in the construction of the corridor.”
Xinhua quoted Wang Haiping, director of the scriptwriting committee of the China Television Artists Association at the first SCO festival as saying “The intimate friendship of the people from the two countries will be highlighted in the movie.” The shooting for the film is likely to start in early 2019.