China’s new world order

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China’s President Xi Jinping will unveil his grand economic plan for the world on May 14 and 15 at an international summit on his “One Belt, One Road” policy initiative. Attended by 28 heads of state and top officials from more than 60 nations, the event is a coming out party for the Asian giant and will see Xi outline China’s plans to forge a new global economic order by drawing on the millennia-old tradition of the Silk Road trading route.

In truth, the summit is just the latest step in China’s evolution as a global power. The tendrils of Chinese influence have been gradually wrapping themselves around the globe and the once closed-off Asian nation is emerging as a potential superpower. We explore five ways China is changing lives – with its financial clout and its influence on culture, education, travel and the military balance of power.

While the ad might not have initially been made with CPEC in mind, there’s no doubt the foreigners Pakistanis interact with most on a daily basis are Chinese. “They’re our best neighbor,” says Humayun Farooq, marketing general manager for Shan Foods.

“If this ad has given CPEC a human face then I am glad for that.”

Across town, Pakistanis discreetly sip cheap Chinese beer and wolf down dumplings made by Amber Shen, from China’s Anhui province. Shen and other Chinese expats do their shopping from a handful of Chinese grocery stores that have sprung up in Islamabad. Popular American treats, like Chips Ahoy and Skittles, with Chinese packaging and even cans of stewed pork, a meat banned in Pakistan, are all available.

Last year, a bilingual newspaper called Huashang Weekly launched with a staff of both