ISLAMABAD: Pak-China Public Forum Chief Coordinator Naseer Hussain Janjua said that we are holding a seminar on “One Belt, One Road ” from Pakistan-China Public Forum.
According to a press release, Naseer Janjua said that China and Pakistan have had diplomatic relations for the last sixty seven years and have been close allies for fifty-one years. However, there’s hardly much that we know about the culture and the peoples of each other. We know the most common names in the United States are James and Mary, and Priya and Rahul in India, yet we would be hard pressed to recall more than a couple of Chinese names. Of the culture, history and the interactions between the two cultures that have existed for two millennia through the Southern Silk Route, we have hardly any knowledge.
He added that a quick look at the history of the Southern Silk Route will show that in the last two millennia, it was not just goods that flowed between Tianzhu (Chinese for Sind) and the Han, but cultural ideas, architecture, science, technologies and most of all faith took this road to reach China, first as Buddhism, then Nestorian Christianity and finally Islam. Welcomed by the Tang Dynasty’s openness policies Islam had existed in China for 1,400 years. It now boasts a Muslim population of 23 million. Almost as many Muslims live in China as in Saudi Arabia.
He added that probably the saturation of western and Indian media, or an education system based of British colonial priorities. whatever the case there is little awareness of the culture and history of each other. For knowledge, culture, education we have always looked westward, while the greatest civilisation that has existed in one continuum for thousands of years is just across our northern border.
He added that if we look at modern day China, their influence and impact on the world stage is such that in the US alone, by 2020, one million students in K-12 will be enrolled in Mandarin classes, and thats in a country where half the adult population believes Africa is one country.
He added that our major trading partner, strategic and closest ally, and now with CPEC already there are thousands of Chinese citizens in Pakistan, and Pakistanis in China, soon with the completion of the CPEC road networks, rail network and presence of Chinese businesses in Pakistan, thousands will be crossing the Pak-China border on a daily basis. How will the Chinese and Pakistani nationals interact, how will they relate, what commonalities do they share, culturally and nationally?
He added that according to Pew’s Research, Pakistanis have the most favourable view of China, after China itself. Thats a good start, we have been close allies for decades, now that our nationals will be immersed in each other’s economies a new chapter of interaction and relationships is starting up. This seminar aims to address the challenges and opportunities that the One Belt, One Road is about to offer for the people of these two cultures.