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Foul Smell? Chinese Learning is Trending in Pakistan Amid Deepening Ties With China

The massive collaboration dubbed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, is generating interest among Pakistani students and professionals to learn Mandarin

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Li Xue Mei teaches compulsory Mandarin lessons
Learning Chinese Trending in Pakistan Amid Deepening Ties With China. VOA
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  • China’s investment of around $60 billion under CPEC collaboration is expected to bring around 20,000 Chinese to Pakistan
  • Public and private institutions are establishing links with Chinese counterparts to promote exchanges in higher education and provide research opportunities on both sides of the border
  • While both countries have traditionally enjoyed close political and defense ties, officials hope the corridor will further cement relations and bring economic prosperity to Pakistan

China is investing billions of dollars in extensive roads, railways, special industrial zones and energy infrastructure in Pakistan. The massive collaboration dubbed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, is generating interest among Pakistani students and professionals to learn Mandarin.

Li Xue Mei teaches compulsory Mandarin lessons to around 300 students ranging from grade five to middle school. She is one of the Chinese instructors at the private Roots millennium schools, where more than 7,000 children are learning the language.

“They are good and they are very excited to learn Chinese,” she said.

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She adds that writing Chinese language characters is challenging for her students, but they quickly master it. The instructor underscores the urgency of learning Mandarin.

“I think they need to learn more Chinese to learn Chinese culture and they can communicate more and they can cooperate better with Chinese people and they can work better,” she said.

China’s investment of around $60 billion under CPEC collaboration is expected to bring around 20,000 Chinese to Pakistan.

A large number of them have already moved to the country, mostly running private businesses.

Public and private institutions are establishing links with Chinese counterparts to promote exchanges in higher education and provide research opportunities on both sides of the border.

Beijing regards CPEC as “a pilot flagship project” of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is a massive trade and connectivity venture aimed at linking China to the rest of Asia, Africa and Europe through both land and maritime routes.

While both countries have traditionally enjoyed close political and defense ties, officials hope the corridor will further cement relations and bring economic prosperity to Pakistan.

“History bears testimony to the fact that this great friendship has stood the test of time. But in the past four years this relationship has crossed new thresholds and culminated in the establishment of CPEC,” said Pakistani Foreign Policy Advisor Sartaj Aziz.

The nearly 3,000-kilometer long corridor China is building in Pakistan will allow its trade convoys to travel along the Karakoram Highway, snaking past snow-capped ranges, down to the deep-water Pakistani port of Gwadar. The freight will then be placed on ships bound for markets in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. (VOA)

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All You Need To Know About China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) Project

OBOR is also a part of China’s economic diplomacy strategy

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OBOR is China's attempt at improving their economic development.
OBOR is China's attempt at improving their economic development.

By Ruchika Verma

  • One Road One Belt Initiative is A Chinese initiative to connect all Asian countries
  • The main motive is to connect all countries with which China shares a border
  • This will help China improve its economy

China’s OBOR or One belt one road initiative was released in 2013 and is one of the most expensive initiatives taken by China. OBOR initiative is China’s way of improving inter-border connectivity. The OBOR agreement has been signed by most of the countries with which China shares a border except for India.

All countries sharing border with China have signed the OBOR except for India.
All countries sharing a border with China have signed the OBOR except for India.

What exactly is One Road One Belt? 

Known as China’s President Xi Jinping’s most ambitious project, the One Belt One Road initiative focuses on improving connectivity and cooperation among Asian countries, Africa, and Europe. The belt and road initiative lays emphasis on enhancing the land and maritime routes. The policy aims to boost the domestic growth of China and is very crucial to the country as well.

Also Read: India China’s Fight Over the Doklam Plateau Explained

OBOR is also a part of China’s economic diplomacy strategy. Since China is no longer a part of G7, OBOR might provide China with an opportunity to continue its economic development.

There are two components to this project of China — the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the Maritime Silk Road (MSR).

OBOR is said to be Chinese President Xi Jinping's dream project. Twitter
OBOR is said to be Chinese President Xi Jinping’s dream project. Twitter

The SREB focuses on bringing China, Central Asia, Russia and Europe together and linking China with the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea through Central Asia and West Asia. The 21st-Century MSR goes from China’s coast to Europe through the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean in one route.

Why is India opposed to OBOR?

The main reason behind India’s opposition towards OBOR is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). According to some reports, the launch of CPEC in Pakistan has helped China receive investments of worth more than $46 billion.

India oppose China's OBOR because of sovereignty issues.
India opposes China’s One Belt One Road because of sovereignty issues.

Also Read: Facts About PoK You Probably Didn’t Know Before

India doesn’t have any problem with OBOR but the CPEC through which it passes is a major concern. India has raised objections over CPEC citing sovereignty issues over the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). China, however, has not tried to attenuate India’s concerns.