Speakers on Wednesday have said that the country’s universities should identify new areas of cooperation with China in the field of higher education and research and explore the complex matrix between politics, economics and culture. China is Pakistan’s largest trading partner and an important source of foreign investment.

They stressed the need for joint efforts to make the tree of China-Pakistan friendship evergreen and said that it was the responsibility of both countries to build China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and promote the spirit of friendly cooperation between the two neighboring countries.

This they said while addressing a seminar titled “Strategic and Economic Dimensions of Pakistan and China Relations amid deepening global geopolitical divide” held in the Senate Hall of VC Secretariat, University of Sindh (SU), which was jointly organized with Centre for International Strategic Studies Sindh (CISSS).

Pro-Vice Chancellor Sindh University Thatta Campus Prof Dr Rafique Ahmed Memon, while delivering the presidential address on the occasion, said that there were vast opportunities for cooperation in the field of higher education and research in China, as Chinese Universities could admit a large number of Pakistani students.

He said that the Chinese educational institutions should register themselves with Pakistan accreditation bodies in a bid to resolve the problems faced by Pakistani students on their return after obtaining the utmost degrees from various Chinese Universities.

Stressing the need to increase the defense cooperation between Pakistan and China, he said that unlike the West, China did not prevent Pakistan from using weapons against the aggression of any enemy including India.

Addressing the seminar, Pakistani Ambassador to China Moin ul Haque said that China’s production of Al-Khalid tanks and GF-17 Thunder fighter jets with Pakistan was actually a great proof of the extraordinary defense cooperation between the two countries.

He said that a cynical propaganda was being spread that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project would plunge Pakistan into debt mire, but it was not the case at all.

He said it was important to open the CPEC project to the public so that no propaganda could affect the friendship between the two countries, adding that Sino-Pak will soon start working on an important project to prepare submarines for the Pakistan Navy and China will also ensure access to Pakistani engineers to the manufacturing plant.

The Pakistani ambassador announced that the University of Sindh will be provided with the opportunities to enter into educational agreements with the top varsities of China, so that it could advance in the field of higher education and research being the old University of Pakistan.

“Chinese citizens love Pakistanis very much and they consider Pakistan as their second home”, he said and added that both the countries will take more efforts in the field of tourism to increase public relations.

Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Sindh Prof Dr Hamadullah Kakepoto said that there were ideal relations between Pakistan and China and cooperation between the two countries in various fields including education and defense was ongoing good-humoredly.

He stated that China was providing scholarship opportunities to Pakistani students on a large scale, which was benefiting the country’s youth in their career development.

Executive Director CISSS and former Ambassador Kazi M Khalilullah said that China was an old friend of Pakistan, but with time, the friendship between the two countries had become stronger than the Himalayas and deeper than the oceans.

“Pakistan has a successful foreign policy, which we have to trust”, he said and added that both countries had supported each other in testing times, while in terms of defense, China had always helped Pakistan to stand on its feet.

Former Chairman of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) Dr Ansar Pervez said that initially Pakistan bought a nuclear power plant from Canada, but due to Canada’s coldness, the project could not go ahead, after which China started the same project and it also assisted Pakistan in the same way.

He said that the 325 megawatt nuclear power plant provided by China was successfully operationalized in the country, adding that China’s cooperation was also continuing to meet the energy needs of Pakistan.

He said that Pakistan and China needed to explore opportunities for energy and education cooperation as much as possible. On the occasion, Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed and others also made online speeches.

Related: CISSS presents research “Significance of Nuclear Energy in Pakistan”

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Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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