BEIJING Dec 31 (TNS): Pakistan-China relations stand as a perfect example for the world, where people with different cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds had established strong brotherly ties, Pakistan’s Acting Consul General in Chengdu, Naveed Bokhari said.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was a flagship project under the BRI that had given a new impetus to Islamabad-Beijing relations; he shared these views at the Sixth China-South Asia Cultural Forum – China-South Asia People-to-People Exchange under Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Chengdu, Sichuan province.
He said traditionally, cooperation between two or more countries or regions was focused on economic, commercial, financial, military and strategic factors.
Cultural cooperation, on the other hand, was assigned the intangible supportive role, providing underlying strength to ties between countries and in the process aiding other more tangible forms of cooperation, he added.
Naveed Bokhari said this traditional definition and role of cultural cooperation was now being challenged. Creative industries, which were deeply rooted in local cultures, were emerging as important pillars of economic growth and adding a new dimension to economic cooperation between regions.
This aspect added much more depth to the concept of cultural connectivity in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative, which not only focused on bringing economic prosperity for billions of people across continents but also strives to build bridges between cultures and civilizations, he added.
He said Pakistan and China shared a very special relationship. The two countries had a very long history of contacts – a history that dated back to many centuries and was rooted in the ancient silk route.
The trade route was also a medium for exchanges of ideas, thoughts and cultures. Chinese monks and envoys such as Xuan Zang and Fa Xian frequently travelled to Pakistan in history. Those contacts laid down a solid foundation that helped Pakistan and China to transform this harmonious friendship into an all-weather strategic cooperative partnership.
He opined that all of the above was just a glimpse of what actually was happening on the ground. But there was still a lot of room for further strengthening cultural and people-to-people contacts between Pakistan and China, especially in the context of tapping the economic potential of such exchanges.