Thursday, January 10, 2019

Pakistani Mini Invasion of China?

Mid-1960s America saw a phenomenon called the "British Invasion". Anecdotal evidence suggests similar phenomenon, albeit on a smaller scale, is occurring in China with about 100,000 Pakistanis arriving there in recent years. While the growing presence of the Chinese in Pakistan gets a lot of press, there has been relatively little coverage of the movement of people in the other direction---from Pakistan to China. Jalil Shaikh, a Pakistani-American tech executive in Silicon Valley, has observed this phenomenon during his frequent visits to Jiangsu province in China. Jalil is often welcomed as "iron brother" by the people he meets during his stays in China.

Pakistanis in Changzhou, China
Pakistanis in Changzhou:

Jalil saw anecdotal of evidence of "Pakistani invasion" of China in the city of Changzhou in Jiangsu province. Changzhou has a population of about 5 million people which makes it a medium size city by Chinese standards. Changzhou is an educational hub and is home to several universities, including Changzhou University, Hohai University (Changzhou campus), Jiangsu Teachers' University of Science and Technology, Jiangsu Teachers' University of Technology, and Changzhou Institute of Technology. It attracts a large number of foreign students mainly from countries participating in China's BRI (Belt and Road Initiative). China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a flagship project of BRI.  There are an estimated 22,000 Pakistani students studying in China. A significant fraction of these students receive Chinese government scholarships to study in the country.



Pakistani Restaurant in Changzhou, China


Pakistanis in Beijing:

Jalil has also travelled to the Chinese capital Beijing for business. During one such trips, he stayed at Oak Chateau hotel where he met dozens of Pakistanis working as engineers. They work as IT engineers at German automakers BMW and Mercedes whose Beijing offices are located just across the street from this hotel.

Food and Music at Changzhou Restaurant: 

On a visit to Changzhou last year, Jalil ate at MandS Restaurant,  a Pakistani restaurant in the city of Changzou. He met its Pakistani owner and several young Pakistanis attending universities there. He learned that here are scores of Pakistanis in Changzou and most of them are reachable on a WeChat  group. WeChat is a ubiquitous smartphone application similar to WhatsApp that serves as both mobile messaging and payment platform. Owned by Chinese social media giant TenCents, WeChat competes with China's e-commerce behemoth Alibaba's Alipay in mobile payments space which has rapidly grown in China.  Jalil joined the Pakistani WeChat group in Changzhou and invited its members to dinner and Karaoke singing at MandS Restaurant. About 40 Pakistanis, mostly students, showed up. Many of the Changzhou Pakistanis, including girls, are from families living in small towns and villages in Pakistan. Many get fully funded scholarships with full tuition, room and board as well as a monthly stipend of 1,700 RMB for Master's degree students and 2,000 RMB for PhD candidates. China gets the benefit of the research work and publications produced by them.

Spinal Injury:

A Pakistani girl who had recently arrived had a serious mishap soon after arrival from her village near Multan. She slipped and fell. The fall caused serious spinal injuries requiring hospitalization and surgery. This occurred before her medical coverage started. The hospital demanded payment of RMB 35,000 which is equivalent to US$5,000. Pakistanis helped raise $4,000 and Jalil made up the difference to cover the unfortunate girl's medical expenses.

Muslims in Changzhou:

A large number of Muslims call Changzhou home. There are 5 mosques in the city.  Jalil has had the opportunity to attend Friday prayers at packed mosques in the city.  MandS Restaurant owner offered free meals to over 200 Muslims as part of Eid Milad un Nabi (Prophet Mohammad SAW's birthday)celebration last year.

China-Pakistan Ties:

Pakistan-China ties are rapidly growing well beyond the economy and the military with tens of thousands of Chinese and Pakistani citizens regularly traveling between the two countries.

More Pakistanis than ever are learning the Chinese language. China with its world class educational institutions is emerging as one of the top destinations for Pakistanis studying abroad. China-Pakistan relationship is becoming a truly multi-dimensional strategic relationship.   This new phenomenon is the subject of a Pakistani spice company television commercial featuring a young Chinese woman in Lahore making the popular biryani dish using Shan masala.

China's Strides in Science and Technology:

Why is China becoming a fast growing destination for foreign students, including Pakistanis studying abroad? A story in India's "The Wire" online magazine has explained it in terms of the rapid rate of China's progress in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields as follows:

America's National Science Foundation and National Science Board have recently released their biennial science and engineering indicators which provide detailed figures on research and development (R&D), innovation and engineers. But its true message is in a different direction, “China has become,” concludes Robert J. Samuelson in a column, “or is in the verge of becoming – a scientific and technical superpower. This is not entirely unexpected given the size of the Chinese economy and its massive investments in R&D, even so, he says, “the actual numbers are breathtaking”.

1. China is the 2nd largest spender in R&D after the US, accounting for 21% of the world total which is $2 trillion. It has been going up 18% a year, as compared to 4% in the US. An OECD report says that China could overtake the US in R&D spending by 2020.

2. China has overtaken the US in terms of total number of science publications. Technical papers have increased dramatically, even if their impact, as judged by citation indices, may not be that high.

3. The US continues to produce more PhDs and attract more foreign students. But new international enrollment at US colleges was down for the first time in the decade in 2017. The Trump administration’s anti-immigration rhetoric and actions are scaring away students.

4. China has begun shifting from being an assembler of high-tech components, to a maker of super computers and aircraft and given the pattern of its investments in RandD and technology development, it is focusing on becoming the world leader in artificial intelligence (AI), quantum communications, quantum computing, biotechnology and electric vehicles.

Summary:

While the growing presence of the Chinese in Pakistan gets a lot of press, there has been relatively little coverage of the movement of people in the other direction---from Pakistan to China. Pakistan-China ties are rapidly growing well beyond the economy and the military with tens of thousands of Chinese and Pakistani citizens regularly traveling between the two countries. Jalil Shaikh, a Pakistani-American tech executive in Silicon Valley, has observed this phenomenon during his frequent visits to Jiangsu province in China. Jalil is often welcomed as "iron brother" by the people he meets during his stays in China.  More Pakistanis than ever are learning the Chinese language.  China with its world class educational institutions is emerging as one of the top destinations for Pakistanis studying abroad. It is becoming a truly multi-dimensional relationship which will help Pakistan rise with China on the world stage.

Here's a video clip of Karaoke Dinner in Changzhou, China:

https://youtu.be/2YSnDGtVjsk




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Rapid Growth of China-Pakistan Educational, Scientific and Cultural Ties 

China-Pakistan Strategic Ties

US and China Compete For Influence in Pakistan

China-Pakistan Defense Tech Cooperation Irks West

Pakistan-Russia-China vs India-Japan-US

Pakistan Rising or Falling? Myth Vs Reality

Facts and Myths About China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

China Emerges as Top Destination for Pakistanis Studying Abroad

Sec Hagel: India Using Afghanistan to Launch Attacks in Pakistan

Ex Indian Spy Documents RAW's Successes Against Pakistan

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel



9 comments:

Khan said...

These Pakistanis are literally following the hadiths where the prophet said " Educate yourself, even if you have to go to China for it"

Seeme said...

I am sure it will grow. I am sure China giving students very nice scholarships.

Riaz Haq said...

How #China could dominate #science and #technology . In 2013-18, more #research publications came from China than from any other country in 23 of the 30 busiest fields. China accounted for 11% of the most influential papers in 2014-16. https://www.economist.com/leaders/2019/01/12/how-china-could-dominate-science via @TheEconomist

There is no doubting Mr Xi’s determination. Modern science depends on money, institutions and oodles of brainpower. Partly because its government can marshal all three, China is hurtling up the rankings of scientific achievement, as our investigations show (see article). It has spent many billions of dollars on machines to detect dark matter and neutrinos, and on institutes galore that delve into everything from genomics and quantum communications to renewable energy and advanced materials. An analysis of 17.2m papers in 2013-18, by Nikkei, a Japanese publisher, and Elsevier, a scientific publisher, found that more came from China than from any other country in 23 of the 30 busiest fields, such as sodium-ion batteries and neuron-activation analysis. The quality of American research has remained higher, but China has been catching up, accounting for 11% of the most influential papers in 2014-16.

Such is the pressure on Chinese scientists to make breakthroughs that some put ends before means. Last year He Jiankui, an academic from Shenzhen, edited the genomes of embryos without proper regard for their post-partum welfare—or that of any children they might go on to have. Chinese artificial-intelligence (ai) researchers are thought to train their algorithms on data harvested from Chinese citizens with little oversight. In 2007 China tested a space-weapon on one of its weather satellites, littering orbits with lethal space debris. Intellectual-property theft is rampant.

The looming prospect of a dominant, rule-breaking, high-tech China alarms Western politicians, and not just because of the new weaponry it will develop. Authoritarian governments have a history of using science to oppress their own people. China already deploys ai techniques like facial recognition to monitor its population in real time. The outside world might find a China dabbling in genetic enhancement, autonomous ais or

geoengineering extremely frightening.

These fears are justified. A scientific superpower wrapped up in a one-party dictatorship is indeed intimidating. But the effects of China’s growing scientific clout do not all point one way.

For a start, Chinese science is about much more than weapons and oppression. From better batteries and new treatments for disease to fundamental discoveries about, say, dark matter, the world has much to gain from China’s efforts.

Moreover, it is unclear whether Mr Xi is right. If Chinese research really is to lead the field, then science may end up changing China in ways he is not expecting.

Mr Xi talks of science and technology as a national project. However, in most scientific research, chauvinism is a handicap. Expertise, good ideas and creativity do not respect national frontiers. Research takes place in teams, which may involve dozens of scientists. Published papers get you only so far: conferences and face-to-face encounters are essential to grasp the subtleties of what everyone else is up to. There is competition, to be sure; military and commercial research must remain secret. But pure science thrives on collaboration and exchange.

This gives Chinese scientists an incentive to observe international rules—because that is what will win its researchers access to the best conferences, laboratories and journals, and because unethical science diminishes China’s soft power. Mr He’s gene-editing may well be remembered not just for his ethical breach, but also for the furious condemnation he received from his Chinese colleagues and the threat of punishment from the authorities. The satellite destruction in 2007 caused outrage in China. It has not been repeated.

Riaz Haq said...

Pak Army shall ensure security of CPEC at all costs, Gen Bajwa tells President Xi Jinping

https://www.dawn.com/news/1433887

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Bajwa, on special invitation, called on the President of China Xi Jinping in China on Wednesday to discuss the region's security and the challenges it is faced with, the military's media wing said.

The Chinese president acknowledged that Pakistan has been a "time-tested iron friend" to China and the Pakistan Army has had a role in this lasting relationship, according to a statement released on Twitter by Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor.

The Chinese president promised that his country would continue to work with Pakistan and support it as a strategic partner.

He said that those who oppose the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) or China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) "shall never succeed as this is an initiative of peace and development not only for China but for [the] region and beyond".

Gen Bajwa said that Pakistan "understands the importance of peace and has [made a] lot of sacrifices for achieving it".

"BRI with CPEC as its flagship is destined to succeed despite all odds and the Pakistan Army shall ensure security of CPEC at all costs," the Gen Bajwa assured the Chinese president.

The army chief added that "we need to stay strong to thwart designs of all inimical forces challenging our resolve and we greatly value [the] Chinese support in this regard".

Anonymous said...

The warmth shown by Chinese brothers is unbelievable. In my last trip with family, had misplaced passport at airport and realized only during immigration. As soon I explained I was Pakistani, they went out of the way. We were allowed to wait in ac lounge used only by airport employees. While we were served premium oolong tea, they dispatched a search party and we were given updates every 30min. A translator and lunch were offered. All this time the embassy phone number was ringing with out answer !

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has visited YiDong market in Shanghai will agree to the warmth of Chinese to Pakistani brother. There is an unwritten rule of 20% discount as soon as you tell you are from Pakistan. I have my self seen some Indians abusing this privilege pretending to be Pakistanis.

Anonymous said...

Pakistanis are extremely well respected in China. I know a little Chinese and when I was lost on my way to Beijing from Guangzhou on technical business (sorry, I cannot elaborate further), I was treated very well. At the train station, I told them I was from Pakistan on business, the Manager used his own scan card to let me in to an exquisite area where I rested because I had missed my Train. He then proceeded to get me a new train ticket at no charge! Wonderful people. I was served this amazing meal and when I asked how much, I was told "peng you, bù shōu qǔ rèn hé fèi yòng" which means "our friend, there is no charge"

I would say to all Pakistanis. Pakistan-China relationship is truly all weather.

Wanted to share. Thanks

Riaz Haq said...

#Saudi to set up $10 billion #oil #refinery in #Pakistan."#SaudiArabia wants to make Pakistan's economic development stable through establishing an oil refinery and partnership with Pakistan in #CPEC" Saudi Energy Khalid al-Falih told reporters in #Gwadar https://cnb.cx/2TJMPDz

Saudi Arabia plans to set up a $10 billion oil refinery in Pakistan's deepwater port of Gwadar, the Saudi energy minister said on Saturday, speaking at the Indian Ocean port that is being developed with the help of China.

Pakistan wants to attract investment and other financial support to tackle a soaring current account deficit caused partly by rising oil prices. Last year, Saudi Arabia offered Pakistan a $6 billion package that included help to finance crude imports.

"Saudi Arabia wants to make Pakistan's economic development stable throughestablishing an oil refinery and partnership with Pakistan in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor," Saudi Energy Khalid al-Falih told reporters in Gwadar.

He said Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman would visit Pakistan in February to sign the agreement. The minister added that Saudi Arabia would also invest in other sectors.

Beijing has pledged $60 billion as part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that involves building power stations, major highways, new and upgraded railways and higher capacity ports, to help turn Pakistan into a major overland route linking western China to the world.

"With setting up of an oil refinery in Gwadar, Saudi Arabia will become an important partner in CPEC," Pakistan Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said.

The Saudi news agency SPA earlier reported that Falih met Pakistan's petroleum minister and Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi in Gwadar to discuss cooperation in refining, petrochemicals, mining and renewable energy.

It said Falih would finalise arrangements ahead of signing memorandums of understanding.

Since the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan came to power in August, Pakistan has secured economic assistance packages from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and China.

In November, Pakistan extended talks with the International Monetary Fund as it seeks its 13th bailout since the late 1980s to deal with a looming balance of payments crisis.

The Pakistani prime minister's office had said on Thursday that Islamabad expected to sign investment agreements with Saudi Arabia and the UAE in coming weeks.

Riaz Haq said...

Hike shows why super apps don’t work in India the way they do in China


https://qz.com/india/1522956/why-kavin-mittals-hike-could-not-be-chinas-wechat-for-india/


In China, WeChat—a mash-up of WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, Paypal, Twitter, Uber, Kindle, and more—has become an indispensable part of everyday life for people. The super app provides a long list of services from booking cabs to ordering food delivery to playing games to transferring money, keeping users locked in its ecosystem.

But the creator of India’s popular instant messaging app, Hike, believes this is no China.

Until now, Hike has housed messaging, news updates, digital payments, and cab bookings all under one app-roof. But on Jan. 10, it announced plans to unbundle in 2019.

“In our business the user experience is key and the value isn’t just in the number of users but how engaged they are on our platforms,” said founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal. “Unbundling Hike into multiple apps focused on doing one thing allows us more room in the pixels to deliver much more around one problem.”

Social features like messaging, and content where snackable posts are available, are two segments within the current Hike app that drive high engagement. Users spend upwards of 30 minutes daily in each. Going forward, Hike’s 100 million users will be able to choose between continuing to use the current Hike app or migrating to the specific new apps as they branch off.

Experts think the decision is apt. “India is still in the formative stages when it comes to getting users acquainted to being app-dependent,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, chief analyst and CEO at Greyhound Research. “Super apps are for more evolved users who have already gone through the learning curve. Hence they do way better in Japan and China, where penetration of smartphones and mobile internet is way better.” In fact, WeChat itself tanked in India.

The move comes eight months after Hike, which began as an instant messenger in 2012, admitted to spreading itself too thin. In the first place, the company didn’t have a clear path to monetisation; acquisitions and employees were weighing heavy on its costs. As part of cleaning up its act, Hike shuttered its Bengaluru office and laid off nearly 25% of its 350-strong workforce in May last year.