Voice of Young Pakistanis on the Friendship with China
China and Pakistan are brother countries and always stood by each other in the times of need. The long-standing ties between the two countries have been mutually beneficial.
Editor’s Note: This year marks the 69th anniversary of founding of China-Pakistan diplomatic ties. Through 69-year tests, the bilateral relations are higher than mountains, deeper than oceans, stronger than steel, and sweeter than honey. In particular, people-to-people connections have never stopped boosting China-Pakistan friendship.
In his recent reply to a letter from all Pakistani students studying in the University of Science and Technology Beijing (USTB), Chinese President Xi Jinping encouraged them to learn more about China, communicate more with their Chinese peers and tell the world more about the China they see.
How do the young Pakistani people see the relations with China? How do they respond to Xi’s reply to Pakistani students in China? The answers can be found from the opinions of following Pakistani friends.
Wajih Ullah: Role of youth in Pakistan-China relations
Youth is a predominant segment of society in the 21st century that decides the country’s fate in the interconnected world. Constructive youth engagement brings societal changes in communities through integration, interaction, and cross-cultural exchanges. Recently, China and Pakistan celebrated the 69th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Chinese and Pakistani youth tightly knot each other to lead the way for enhancement of bilateral relations through a joint adventure and cross-cultural diplomacy. According to the official data available, over 28,000 Pakistani students study in China for various degree levels program.
A fascinating moment for the youth of Pakistan in China is when President Xi Jinping responded to the letter of the Pakistani student’s studying at the University of Science and Technology Beijing (USTB). President Xi emphasized promoting the people-to-people connectivity for a shared future, especially under the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Xi Jinping stated that “As you have felt since the COVID-19 epidemic broke out, the Chinese government and schools have always cared for the lives and health of foreign students studying in China, providing all-round help for them”. Pakistani students in China warmheartedly welcomed the Chinese President’s gesture which motivates them to become a bridge between Islamabad and Beijing and share responsibility for strengthening friendship.
In an era of the digital world, governments redesign formal diplomatic relations by incorporating the youth in policymaking arrangements, by using soft power skills for enhancing the people-to-people connectivity, education-based youth exchange program and increasing the cultural activities, including film, literature and music for better understanding of the nations’ narrative. Subsequently, bounded diplomatic relations of both nations can be well explained by a famous saying, “Higher than mountains deeper than oceans, stronger than steel and sweeter than honey”. It is worth mentioning the contemporary stature of Pakistan and China friendly relationship further magnified after singing the landmark project China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), that’s not only a project of land connectivity, but also a project of deep love and affection of both nations towards each other.
The writer is freelance blogger and works with Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies as Researcher.
Zunaira Mumtaz: Pakistani heart beats with Chinese
Being a Pakistani student, I am so pleased and proud to know that in a recent letter from The Honorable Xi Jinping, President of People’s Republic of China, he gave great importance to the Pakistani students who are currently studying in China. The letter reflects that he deeply cares about our health, studies, wellbeing and has encouraged us. We are grateful that China is offering us this great opportunity to not only study in China but also develop deep rooted linkages with the Chinese people and understanding about China. China and Pakistan are brother countries and always stood by each other in the times of need. The long-standing ties between the two countries have been mutually beneficial. A close identity of views and mutual interests remains the centre-point of bilateral ties. This kindness of His Excellency President Xi in this letter is an iron evidence of the long live Pak-China Friendship.
The writer is a student in in Zhejiang University.
Usman Khan: Letter of compassion
Pakistan recognized the People’s Republic of China soon after its independence and declaration as sovereign state and later established diplomatic relations on 21st May 1951. Pakistan from the very beginning has kept its foreign policy approach friendly as both are immediate neighbors as well. Pakistan and China friendship, described by the leadership of both countries as higher than mountains, deeper than the oceans, and of late, sweeter than honey, is a unique case in the international system we live in, yet the relationship is based on sound geostrategic and realist considerations. Recently some Pakistani students in University of Science and Technology Beijing, had written a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping, thanking him for taking care of them during the pandemic. To their amusement when they received a beautiful reply from President Xi Jinping himself of their letter. President Xi encouraged the students to communicate more with their Chinese friends. He advised students to enrich their knowledge and make new Chinese friends while studying in China. President Xi Jinping said that he was pleased to hear about their achievements they have made during their studies in China. President Xi further suggested Pakistani students to share with their fellow countrymen and women about China and how China takes care of foreign students especially Pakistani students in this outbreak of coronavirus. The reply and gesture warmed the hearts of Pakistani students and they shared this news with everyone at home and within China. Many Pakistani students, studying in China used to write blogs and vlogs about Pakistan-China Friendship. A larger number of Pakistani students who are studying or working in China make vlogs about Pakistan and China, promoting goodwill and understanding between peoples of Pakistan and China.
The writer works for The Diplomatic Insight magazine.
Muzamil Ayesha: Pakistan-China relations 69 years and beyond
This year (2020) marks the 69th anniversary of Pakistan-China diplomatic ties, which have been deepening ever since the establishment of bilateral relations. Beyond any divide, the relations have grown over the years, achieving milestones on the way with the culmination of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. For Islamabad, Beijing is considered as a pole star for national security strategy, whereas, Islamabad is a central part of Beijing’s South Asian’s Policy. Moreover iron brothers have interrelated interests in promoting peace and security in the region. Adding to this, China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) attracts various countries on the same platform to boost global and regional economy in the twenty-first century. Pakistan’s geostrategic location is a focal point for China’s external economic connections and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) — as a main artery of BRI — is considered as a game changer for the regional and global connectivity. Under the banner of this multi-billion dollar project, the world has witnessed another chapter of bilateral relations between both brotherly countries. In 2015,President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at Pakistan’s Parliament where he shed light on all weather friendship in the following way.
‘Friendship between China and Pakistan is based on trust and mutual support, and we have been devoted to friends through both good and hard times. China and Pakistan both shoulder the historic mission of achieving national renewal, realizing the great dream of building a strong country, and delivering a better life for our peoples’. The journey of a seven-decade cordial relationship is not as smooth as it looks like. The bumpy road ahead for both Pakistan and China in the form of external and internal involvement in the region. Both countries are working together closely to deal with all the challenges that are coming through concept of mutual trust, shared destiny with prosperity and correlation. We are proud of the growing Pakistan-China friendship with each passing day.
The writer works for Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Maira Mazhar: Xi’s letter is an outstanding and heartwarming gesture
In May 1951, Pakistan was one of the first countries that not only recognized but also established the diplomatic relations with the newly emerged state of People’s Republic of China. The initial euphoria and enthusiasm amongst the policy makers in Pakistan has enabled the country to build long standing and deeper relations with China. With each passing year, the cementing of the ties began to happen with high-level visits and cooperation in diversified fields. With Pakistan’s own challenges and China’s reform with gradual opening up, even led both states to continue building the relations. Even with its own economic and other pressing challenges, China always stood by Pakistan and supported in its thick and thin. China provided Pakistan with major military, technical and economic assistance. The epitome of relations comes with the advent of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and later in 2013 with the advent of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Moreover, Pakistan has played a mediatory role between Beijing and Washington and supported China at all international matters. These were the few of the factors which have made Pakistan and China relations remarkable. Now building on people-to-people contact wherein young people are playing a constructive role by studying in China, the bilateral relationship has been brought to the best level. The recent letter of President Xi Jinping is an outstanding and heartwarming gesture that will go a long way in the history of relations between both states.
The writer works for the Global News Pakistan- Islamabad based Multilingual News Agency.
Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies in Pakistan contributes to the opinions.