With over 25,000 students including 6,000 Ph.D. scholars from Pakistan studying in different universities of China, the South Asian country has become the third-largest source of China’s international students.
“The number of Pakistani students has risen from 9,630 in 2013 to 25,000 last year owing to a series of preferential policies after the launch of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework,” Pakistan Ambassador to China, Masood Khalid said while addressing ‘Pakistan Students Forum’ held here.
More than 400 Pakistani students studying in Beijing and other cities attended the forum.
Welcoming the students at the forum, first of its nature held in the premises of the Embassy of Pakistan, he advised the student to abide by the local laws during their stay in China.
Ambassador Khalid said a number of employment opportunities would be available in Pakistan on the projects being completed under the CPEC when they would return to the homeland. He, however, asked them to explore opportunities in different companies in China after the completion of their studies.
He said the Pakistan government was making efforts to open vocational training and professional skill centers with the cooperation of China enabling young Pakistani students to learn skills and get jobs in the CPEC projects.
Ambassador Khalid also called upon the Pakistani students to respect local culture and also introduce Pakistani culture by taking part in different cultural activities in China.
He also briefed them about the latest progress of the CPEC, a pilot project of Belt and Road Initiative initiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping and said that China had become number one foreign investor after its launch.
He informed that the CPEC had entered to industrialization phase and out of nine industrial parks, around three would be established in the country.
About the energy projects, he said that now the electricity production had increased after completion of seven projects while another six would be completed in the next three years.
Regarding Gwadar Port, he said that different auxiliary projects including Gwadar East Bay Expressway and the Gwadar Port Free Zone were in the implementation phase and Phase-I of Gwadar Port Free Zone had been completed.
The Ambassador also briefed the students about the latest situation after Indian violations of Pakistan’s airspace in wake of Pulwama incident. He informed that Pakistan’s armed forces were fully alert and shot down two Indian fighter aircraft when they violated Pakistan airspace. He said the entire nation was united and Pakistan armed forces were fully capable to defend the motherland.
Speaking on occasion, Minister CWA, Ali Sabir Kayani briefed the students about the counselor services available for Pakistani community including the issuance of passports, travel documents, birth registration, attestation, and assistance during detentions and arrests.
He informed that a number of Pakistanis were imprisoned in different jails mainly because of drug smuggling but said the number of drug smuggling has decreased significantly due to effective measures are Pakistani airports during the last few years.
He advised the students to strictly follow the Chinese law and immediately inform the embassy in case of an emergency.
Cultural Counselor, Raheel Tariq apprised the audience about the cultural cooperation agreement signed between Pakistan and China some five decades ago.
He informed that a number of cultural activities including an art exhibition, food festival, cultural galas and participation in film festival were organized to promote the culture and heritage of Pakistan in China.
Raheel Tariq said that Pakistan study centers and Urdu departments had also been established in various universities in China while China had set up four Confucius centers in Pakistan.
Counselor, Dr. Ata Ur Rehman informed the students about the cooperation in the field of science and technology between the two all-weather friends. He said a number of opportunities under training and exchange programme were available for young Pakistani scientists.
Education Attache, Suleman Mahsood gave a complete overview of Pakistani students studying engineering, medical, science, and Chinese language in China. He said that Pakistani student studying in postgraduate programmes were on scholarship and often won best international student award while undergraduate students study on a self-finance basis and mostly excelled in the Chinese language.