Learning Chinese language is not tough if one can focus on it with dedication believe many youngsters in Pakistan. Some Language instructors state that Chinese language is a language of sharp-minded people and the Chinese professionals are getting handsome salary in Pakistan. In the future, it is also expected that thousands of Chinese language professionals and interpreters will be required to meet the rising needs of CPEC project (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor). No doubt, both the governments are working on people connectivity through organizing study centers. Different research studies revealed that Pakistan-China educational exchanges and cooperation have developed a lot too over the past years. China offers hundreds of scholarships to Pakistan students not only for learning Chinese language but also in other areas.
Statistics also show that in China, there are eight universities working to promote Urdu and Pakistan-study centers working to promote the mutual understanding between Pakistan and China. A total of 25,000 Pakistani students are learning Chinese, 22,000 Pakistanis are studying in China and there are 60,000 Pakistani employees working for Chinese firms and this number is set to increase.
During the 1950s, China organized Urdu department at Peking University, Beijing. The department since then has trained number of Chinese scholars with command on Urdu language. Research studies also revealed that the department has also translated very significant books from Urdu literature into Chinese and have published first-ever comprehensive Chinese Urdu dictionary. The popularity of Urdu language in China could be measured from the fact that presently at least 5 universities offer Urdu language course at different level. And now we are seeing that the popularity of Chinese language in our country is far greater as is the most important means for communication.
The government of Pakistan has organized Chinese at very basic level. More number of school across the country start teaching Chinese at kindergarten level. Although this trend mostly is in private sector, central and provincial governments are planning to make Chinese language compulsory at public sector institutes too. At the same time, there is proliferation of China Study Centers at different universities in Pakistan. Confucius Institutes, organized the help from Chinese government, have been playing an important role in this regard. The learning of Chinese language and the Punjab government had also sent various students (approximately 500) to different institutions of China to learn Chinese language on scholarships. We know that CPEC is about the whole of Pakistan and CPEC is also not just about electricity, or energy, or highways, or other brick and mortar projects. It is about the transformation of Pakistan into a leading emerging economy, and it is also about all-round inclusive development in a transparent manner so that the less developed areas of Pakistan are able to reap the benefits of development. The questions come in mind and asked what has CPEC achieved so far? Economists revealed that CPEC has revived dead projects like Thar Coal, which had been talked about for the last quarter of a century, but nothing was there on the ground.
Today young Thari women are driving dumper trucks and bulldozers, while coal is being mined and electricity produced through this indigenous coal production.
The economists also mentioned that the Gwadar Port, which was a dream 25 years ago, today is a living reality, a bustling port, the centre piece of CPEC, which lifted a million tons of cargo last year. Furthermore, the western route of CPEC now a day directly connects Quetta with Gwadar through a modern highway, with only 8 hours driving time. Economists see that the Port Qasim power project in Sindh, and the Sahiwal power project in Punjab, both of which have been inaugurated, will assist to resolve Pakistan’s decades-old power crisis. Pakistani different sources also stated that the orange train would mark Lahore’s entry into the twenty-first century by a modern, efficient, state-of-the-art public transport system. The Sukhi Kinari project is a significant element in the resolution of KPK energy shortfalls. The Karakoram Highway’s expansion and modernization, connecting Pakistan through land route with China, is a highway of prosperity.
No doubt, learning Chinese language by people in Pakistani will play a major role in communication and understanding China and it will ensure the success of CPEC. We are optimistic, with greater attempts, that the gap between demand and supply for Chinese language teaching in the country will be ended shortly. It is said that CPEC is one of the six, and as the first, has been declared a flagship project. Both countries are giving it the highest priority and commitment so it can be a role model the rest of the corridors can follow.