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



15 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.

Riaz Haq said...

Going cashless in Shanghai
By Jennifer Pak

https://www.marketplace.org/2019/01/15/world/going-cashless-shanghai

It’s been more than six years since the World Trade Organization ruled that foreign credit card companies should be able to operate freely in China, but it still hasn’t happened.

And it might already be too late for Visa, Mastercard and American Express to compete there. Only one in two people in China has a credit card, according to the People's Bank of China. The average American has 2.6 cards.

In major cities like Shanghai, residents can get by with just two mobile payment apps: Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay.

Mobile payment has exploded in China. In 2016, Chinese consumers made about $23 trillion (157.55 trillion yuan) worth of transactions through mobile payment platforms, according to the People's Bank of China. That compares to an estimate of just over $100 billion in the U.S. that same year.

Jennifer Pak, Marketplace China correspondent
Forms of payments used in the last 72 hours: Mostly WeChat Pay, Alipay

Places of purchase: Local vegetable and seafood market, fruit store, DiDi rideshare app, supermarket, e-commerce app Taobao by Alibaba, restaurants, Shanghai utilities

Items: Vegetables, seafood, meat, fruits, baking soda, taxi fares, children’s toy, utility bills, meals at restaurants

Cash use: Once, to pay for Chinese language lessons

Riaz Haq said...

After visit of #China's #Uyghur region by diplomats of 12 large #Muslim population nations incl. #India, here's #Pakistan diplomat Mumtaz Zahra Baloch: "During this visit, I did not find any instance of forced labour or cultural and religious repression" https://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/no-cultural-religious-repression-of-uyghur-muslims-in-xinjiang-pak-diplomat-119012401158_1.html#.XEornIENTQI.twitter

A senior Pakistani diplomat on Thursday put up a staunch defence of the controversial education camps in China's volatile Xinjiang province where thousands of Uyghur Muslims have been reportedly detained, saying there is no forced labour or cultural and religious repression in the region.

China recently took diplomats from 12 countries with large Muslim populations, including India and Pakistan, to its Xinjiang province where tens of thousands of members of the minority Uyghur Muslims have been interned in education camps.


"During this visit, I did not find any instance of forced labour or cultural and religious repression," Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, the Charge d'affaires, Pakistan's Embassy in China, told the state-run Global Times on Thursday.

"The imams we met at the mosques and the students and teachers at the Xinjiang Islamic Institute told us that they enjoy freedom in practicing Islam and that the Chinese government extends support for maintenance of mosques all over Xinjiang," said
Baloch, who visited Xinjiang as part of delegation of diplomats.

"Similarly, I did not see any sign of cultural repression. The Uyghur culture as demonstrated by their language, music and dance is very much part of the life of the people of Xinjiang," she said.

Asked about the security situation in Xinjiang, which has been "beset by terrorism", Baloch said, "we learned that the recent measures have resulted in improvement of the security situation in Xinjiang and there have been no incidents of terrorism in recent months."

"The counter-terrorism measures being taken are multidimensional and do not simply focus on law enforcement aspects. Education, poverty alleviation and development are key to the counter-terrorism strategy of the Chinese government," she said.

Xinjiang's regional government invited diplomatic envoys as well as representatives from Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Thailand, and Kuwait following reports about detention of thousands of Uygur and other Muslims in massive education camps.

The UN's Geneva-based Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination last year said that it was alarmed by "numerous reports of ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities" being detained in Xinjiang region and called for their immediate release.

Estimates about them "range from tens of thousands to upwards of a million," it had said.

China defended the camps, saying they are re-education camps aimed at de-radicalising sections of the Uyghur population from extremism and separatism.

China has been carrying out massive crackdown on the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) in Xinjiang province, where Uyghurs who formed majority in the region were restive over the increasing settlements of Han community.

Pakistan and several other Muslim countries faced criticism about their silence over China's crackdown on Muslims in Xinjiang.

China has about 20 million Muslims who are mostly Uyghurs, an ethnic group of Turkic origin, and Hui Muslims, who are of the Chinese ethnic origin. While Uyghurs lived in Xinjiang, bordering Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Hui Muslims resided in Ningxia province.

Riaz Haq said...

#China is top destination for foreign #education for #Pakistan with 28,023 students. #Pakistan ranks third after #SouthKorea with 50,600 and #Thailand with 28,608 students in #China. #India ranks 4th with 23,198, and #UnitedStates 5th with 20,996. https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/457905-china-becomes-top-destination-for-pakistani-students

A total of 492,185 international students from 196 countries and regions studied in China, last year, up 0.62 percent on the previous year.

The number of students pursuing academic education increased by 6.86 percent year-on-year to 258,122, accounting for 52.44 percent of the total.

Students studying for master’s and doctoral degrees increased by 12.28 percent to 85,062. Most international students in China have been self-funded, accounting for 87.19 percent of the total.

The official data shows that China has become the top education destination for Pakistani students as out of all of them enrolled in Chinese universities, around 7,034 are studying on scholarships.

The number of Pakistani students has risen in China mainly because of a series of preferential policies offered by the Chinese government after the launch of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a pilot project of Belt and Road Initiative.

Currently, 6,156 Pakistani students are studying in Ph.D., 3,600 in Masters, 11,100 in Bachelors and 3,000 in Short Term Exchange Programs across China.

Pakistani students are studying Chinese language, engineering, medical, computer science and various other fields.

Various scholarships are provided by the Chinese government to lure international students over – most notably, students from the Belt and Road Initiative participating countries and regions have been facilitated to obtain scholarships under the Chinese Government Scholarship – Silk Road Program.

Pakistani students also enthusiastically participate in cultural activities organized different universities across China.

They set up booths decorated with traditional Pakistani stuff and beautiful posters depicting different social and cultural activities and historical places in Pakistan.

Pakistani students also represent the country in the music, essay writing, and photography competitions to be organized under the Belt and Road Initiative in China.

Riaz Haq said...

How China is redrawing the map of world science
The Belt and Road Initiative, China’s mega-plan for global infrastructure, will transform the lives and work of tens of thousands of researchers. By Ehsan Masood


https://www.nature.com/immersive/d41586-019-01124-7/index.html

As one component of this massive initiative, China is creating what it calls a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a giant oceanic loop that links the country’s shipping to the nations bordering each of the great oceans, including some in Africa and South America. Then there’s the Silk Road Economic Belt, a complicated network of six overland corridors that connect China to some of Asia and Europe’s major cities through railways, roads and maritime paths.

The signs of a scientific BRI emerged soon after Xi visited central Asia in September 2013. The following year, CAS funded an upgrade to a 1-metre telescope at Uzbekistan’s Ulugh Beg Astronomical Institute. The improvement paved the way for the Uzbekistan institute to survey the northern sky in collaboration with China’s Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory. Uzbekistan has no experience in telescope making, observatory director Shuhrat Ehgamberdiev told the CAS Bulletin, so the most important technological part was done by China’s engineers. This was the beginning of much grander plans by CAS.

The BRI’s scientific component is being masterminded by Bai. Trained in China as an X-ray crystallographer, Bai worked with John Baldeschwieler at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena in the mid-1980s on scanning tunnelling microscopy.

Even early in Bai’s career, it was clear he would go far, says Baldeschwieler, who remembers predicting that Bai would one day become president of CAS. During a visit to Beijing in 1995, Baldeschwieler was amazed to find that Bai had arranged a meeting with China’s then-president Jiang Zemin. “We were picked up in a small bus and taken by police escort with flashing lights through Tiananmen Square to the Great Hall of the People.” Young boys and girls were lining the stairs on a red carpet, he recalls.

Under Bai, the science BRI has been running on three parallel tracks. In China, CAS has established five centres of excellence at its institutes, and these host the 200 PhD students that the academy trains every year.

Outside China, it has opened nine research and training centres, in Africa, central Asia, South America and south and southeast Asia — often co-funded by their host countries. The China–Brazil Joint Laboratory for Space Weather in São José dos Campos, for example, is monitoring space weather changes and developing forecast models. In Bangkok, the CAS Innovation Cooperation Center helps Thailand’s universities and technology companies to work with Chinese counterparts, and at the same time gives China a foothold in the region. And then there are hundreds of individual collaborations between CAS and universities in China and elsewhere.

The third track is what CAS is calling the Digital Belt and Road, a platform for participating countries to share the data obtained as part of their collaborative projects with each other and with China. These data include satellite images as well as quantitative data on natural hazards, water resources and cultural heritage sites.

To draw these and other activities together, CAS established a super committee of scientific research organizations in 2016. This network goes by the acronym ANSO, short for Alliance of International Science Organizations in the Belt and Road Region. Its 37 members span the globe, stretching from the Russian Academy of Sciences to the University of Chile. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Paris is also a founding member. As part of its activities, ANSO plans to support and organize research in BRI countries on sustainable development, including improving food security and reducing water scarcity.

Riaz Haq said...

China Focus: China, Pakistan cooperate to cultivate technical talents

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-05/29/c_138099444.htm

After the conclusion of the First Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in Beijing in 2017, a delegation of Pakistan's largest province Punjab headed to Tianjin and signed an agreement with the coastal municipality to cooperate on vocational education.

In July 2018, Tianjin Modern Vocational Technology College and Punjab's Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority co-founded the Pakistan Luban Workshop in Punjab. The workshop offers courses such as new energy vehicles and electromechanical integration technology.

Ali (Arqam, 19) was among the first batch of students recruited by the workshop. "The learning process is so much fun, just like playing toys," he said, adding he was impressed by the advanced training facilities of the workshop.

Apart from the workshop in Pakistan, eight Luban Workshops have been set up in Asia, Africa and Europe since 2016, training more than 4,000 students and about 600 teachers.

"The workshop doesn't teach local students directly but trains local teachers at first. This is a bridge connecting China's vocational education with the world," said Lyu Jingquan, deputy director of Tianjin Municipal Education Commission.

In addition, the Punjab Tianjin University of Technology (PTUT) featuring vocational education was established in 2018, by three Tianjin universities and a vocational education training organization of Punjab. With nearly 500 students, PTUT offers seven specialties including mechanical engineering, automotive engineering, electrical engineering, electric engineering, fashion design and architecture.

"The students show great interest in our courses and are able to quickly acclimate to the new teaching methods," said Zhao Wei, a teacher from Tianjin University of Technology and Education, who's now teaching at PTUT.

VOCATIONAL EDUCATION BOOSTS DEVELOPMENT

Of the nearly 200 million people in Pakistan, people aged between 16 and 30 accounts for about 60 percent of the entire population.

"We have a large number of young people, who need to be trained to master a skill, which could help them secure a job," said Muhammad Asif, the academic dean with PTUT.

Asif believed that professional and technical personnel have played an important role in China's economic development and helped China achieve great prosperity. The government of Punjab hopes to promote vocational education, cultivate highly skilled labor force, and increase youth employment, by learning from China's experience.

"Punjab attempts to improve employment through enhancing vocational education, while we also want to foster more talents for both Pakistani and Chinese enterprises along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)," said Liu Xin, president of Tianjin University of Technology and Education.

Pakistan hopes to learn from China's experience of vocational education development to stimulate the development of the CPEC, according to Syed Javed Hassan, Chairman of Pakistan National Vocational and Technical Training Commission.

After over five years of construction, CPEC has yielded fruitful achievements, creating more than 75,000 jobs for Pakistan.

Aside from vocational education cooperation, China and Pakistan have a wider range of cooperation in education.

Statistics showed around 2,500 students from Pakistan went to study in China in 2017, and the number of Pakistani students in China stands at 22,000 as of May 2019.

Riaz Haq said...

28,000 #Pakistanis studying in #China. 6,156 Pakistani #students in Phd, 3,600 in Masters, 11,100 in Bachelors and 3,000 in Short Term Exchange Programs. They's studying Chinese language, #engineering, #medicine, #computer science and other fields. #CPEC https://tribune.com.pk/story/1950783/1-28000-pakistanis-studying-china/#

Pakistan ranks third in the number of international students currently studying in China with 28,023 students, according to a statement issued by China’s Ministry of Education.

South Korea ranked first with 50,600 students, followed by Thailand with 28,608, India with 23,198, and the United States with 20,996.

A total of 492,185 international students from 196 countries studied in China, last year, up 0.62 per cent from the previous year. The number of students pursuing academic education increased by 6.86 per cent year-on-year to 258,122, accounting for 52.44 per cent of the total.

Students studying for master’s and doctoral degrees increased by 12.28 per cent to 85,062. Most international students in China have been self-funded, accounting for 87.19 per cent of the total.

The official data shows that China has become the top education destination for Pakistani students as out of all of them enrolled in Chinese universities, around 7,034 are studying on scholarships.

The number of Pakistani students has risen in China mainly because of a series of preferential policies offered by the Chinese government after the launch of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a pilot project of Belt and Road Initiative.

Currently, 6,156 Pakistani students are studying in Phd, 3,600 in Masters, 11,100 in Bachelors and 3,000 in Short Term Exchange Programs across China. Pakistani students are also studying Chinese language, engineering, medical, computer science and various other fields.

Various scholarships are provided by the Chinese government to lure international students over – most notably, students from the Belt and Road Initiative participating countries and regions have been facilitated to obtain scholarships under the Chinese Government Scholarship – Silk Road Program. Pakistani students also enthusiastically participate in cultural activities organised different universities across China.

They set up booths decorated with traditional Pakistani items and posters depicting different social and cultural activities and historical places in Pakistan.

Pakistani students also represent the country in the music, essay writing, and photography competitions to be organised under the Belt and Road Initiative in China.