Lahore, April 06, 2016 (PPI-OT): Robust people-to-people contact between Pakistan and China can lay down a strong foundation for Pak-China Cultural Corridor to promote mutual understanding on cultures, traditions and language of the two friendly nations. It was remarked by Shah Faisal Afridi, President Pak-China joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry while addressing a 23 member Chinese delegation from China Cultural Heritage Foundation.
The prime objective of the delegates was to observe the follow up activities undertaken by government of Pakistan relating to Pak-China cultural corridor as discussed in previous meetings.
The Delegation was headed by Ms. Gengjing , the president of China Cultural Heritage Foundation (CCHF). Other prominent members of the delegates were MrCaiBauguang, secretary general CCHF, Mr. Geng Xianhui, Deputy Secretary General CCHF, Mr.Geng Fuchang, Deputy Director General CCHF. Other members were from education, health and research sectors of China.
The Delegation was received by Shah Faisal Afridi at PCJCCI premises where a grand reception was given for welcoming the delegates.
Faisal Afridi, in his address of welcome, appreciated the initiative of China Cultural Heritage Foundation (CCFH) to refresh and further strengthen the plans underlined in earlier sessions regarding formation of Pak-China Cultural Corridor.
Faisal Afridi commended that the government of Pakistan was expediting the inter-cultural exchange programs for complementing regional connectivity with the neighboring community. He said. “At a time when Pakistan is entering into major economic relations with foreign countries in the region as well as globally, it is imperative to pay attention to the cultural dimensions of international relations by extending the scope of public diplomacy.
He pointed out that the social and cultural consequences of the US $46 billion investment in the 3,000 kilometer long strategic China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to connect Pakistan’s Arabian Sea port of Gwadar to China’s Xinjiang province, had not been fully anticipated. “Given the likely cultural interaction between the citizens of Pakistan and China, it is vital that we explore the avenues for renewed inter-cultural dialogue and revive the multi-level links that are lying dormant in our shared cultural histories and regional biographies”, he said.
The head of Delegation Ms. Gengjing responding to the address of welcome, said that China will encourage maximum cooperation and bilateral exchanges between the two countries in the fields of education, health, tourism and culture. She said, such efforts will help deepen the warmth of Pak-China relationship and transfer the same to the new generation. She called for constructing and strengthening bonds of friendship at the grassroots level through social-cultural exchanges adding to this Mr. Cai Bauguang, secretary general CCHF said that Pakistan was among the first countries to recognize the People’s Republic of China as a sovereign state in the 50s.
Over the years, Pakistan-China relationship has been graduated into ‘all-weather’ Sino-Pak friendship, but mostly it is limited to inter-governmental contact with selected people-to-people interaction. There is a need to diversify this interaction from business context to socio cultural context, added Mr. Cai Bauguang.
During the stay Delegation was facilitated by PCJCCI for security, protocol and meetings with counterpart organizations and dignitaries. The delegation held exclusive meetings with Mr. Muhammad Mudassar Tipu, DG PBIT, Dr. Hamid Jalil, executive member Punjab Halal Development agency, Mr. Sahnawaz Zaidi, Advisor COMSATS, Mr. Abdul Waheed, section officer Information and Culture Department, Mr. Ahtesham Aziz Chaudhry, Research Officer Lahore Museum. Moreover representatives from health department provided a brief on potential of Chinese Traditional medicines and methods currently familiar to people in Pakistan.
The Delegates also coordinated with authorities from Lahore museum to discuss the delegation’s agenda of establishing China-Pakistan Inter Museum Alliance.
The delegates and the participants were of the unanimous opinion that strengthening the people-to-people contacts only can actually transform CPEC from a governmental project to an economic venture espousing grass-root affinities at much deeper level.
For more information, contact:
Wardah Ali Gohar
Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI)
Mega Tower, 309 – 6th Floor,
Main Boulevard, Gulberg II,
Lahore, Punjab – Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-35777460-02, +92-42-37032203, +92-42-35874353