Wednesday June 12, 2024

Chinese scholar hails CPEC, Pak-China ties

By Anil Datta
November 25, 2018

Lots of Pakistanis have started going to China. According to one estimate, there are 25,000 Pakistani students in Chinese educational institutions.

This was disclosed by Shang Meng Tang from the Pakistan Study Centre at the University of Peking in Beijing while speaking at the 11th International Urdu Conference at the Arts Council Karachi on Saturday in conversation with Dr Jaffer Ahmed, former director of the Pakistan Study Centre, University of Karachi.

Tang, who had been a cultural attache at the Chinese Consulate General in Karachi, said that the interest Pakistan was evincing among the Chinese could be gauged from the fact that a lot of Pakistani authors and literature was being translated into Chinese, like ‘Udaas Naslein’ and ‘Khuda Ki Basti’.

He said he too had written a book on Pakistan, its cultural, literary heritage and economy, and hoped that it would hit bookstands in Pakistan soon. He said the book was scheduled to be launched in Islamabad on November 29. He said that relatively very few people knew much about Pakistan before the advent of the CPEC.

To a question from Dr Ahmed if he thought that the CPEC was a one-way street, Tang replied that one way to put this misconception at rest was to have much of travel and people-to-people contact between the two countries.

Besides, he said, what was needed was more students from Pakistan even though there were lots of students in the medical and engineering faculties.

He said Urdu was being taught in China since 1914. After the inception of 5h3 CPEC, he said, seven or eight universities had established full-fledged Urdu departments, and PhD courses in Urdu were being pursued at his university.

“The Chinese people and the Chinese government want to see a stable, prosperous Pakistan.”

Tang said China would never forget the role Pakistan played in opening up China to the world and elevating it to the position it was in today internationally. “We earnestly hope the CPEC will succeed,” he remarked.

Dr Ahmed put forth a question about the various cultures of Pakistan since the CPEC would be passing through the various provinces and geographical areas of the country, and thus the importance of cultural and economic ties, he replied, “We shall soon constitute a forum to give a fillip to economic and cultural ties.”

In reply to another question as to how the new economic thinking in China had effected the social scene there, he said that the poetic component of the culture had weakened in the face of the onslaught of capitalism.