China Focus: China, Pakistan strengthen youth exchange

BEIJING, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) — As part of a training course, 16 kinds of advanced scientific research equipment were introduced to a group of Chinese and Pakistani students at the University of Science and Technology Beijing (USTB).

“It is quite rare for us students to be able to see these advanced devices up close. The activity has deepened my knowledge in the materials science field,” said Muhammad Zeeshan Naeem, a Pakistani PhD student at USTB.

The activity was part of the “China-Pakistan Youth Forum for People-to-People Exchanges on Science” held in Beijing, jointly hosted by the China Center for International People-to-People Exchange under the Ministry of Education of China and the USTB.

The forum was held to advance the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) through scientific and technological innovation, and the youth exchange.

It attracted more than 100 representatives from 19 Chinese and Pakistani universities and other educational and scientific sectors, who exchanged views on the promotion of youth exchanges and development, cultural, scientific and technological cooperation, and the role of youth in the Belt and Road.

Data released by the Ministry of Education showed that around 21,000 Pakistani students are studying in Chinese universities.

USTB began to recruit Pakistani students in 1977 and has cultivated 226 Pakistani students so far, according to Yang Renshu, president of USTB. The majority of them have devoted themselves to the construction of the CPEC and exchanges on science and technology and culture between the two sides.

“China has become the top education destination for Pakistani students,” said Afifa Shajia Awais, education attache of the Embassy of Pakistan in China.

About 20,000 Pakistani graduates from China are now engaged in diverse fields in Pakistan, including engineering, social sciences, agriculture and healthcare, according to Awais.

Muhammad Arif Mughal, a Pakistani teacher of the Institute of Artificial Intelligence at USTB, has been in Beijing for more than 10 years.

“I’m a beneficiary of the Belt and Road, and the construction of CPEC has brought great changes to my hometown,” said Mughal.

Du Kewei, director of the China Center for International People-to-People Exchange, said young people play an important role in China-Pakistan people-to-people exchanges and the bilateral relationship.

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