Xi's reply letter inspires Beijing-based Pakistani students

By Zhang Han and Xu Keyue Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/18 18:31:19

Pakistani students pose for a group photo with University of Science and Technology Beijing staff members on Sunday after receiving a letter of response from Chinese President Xi Jiping. Photo: Courtesy of USTB

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday replied to a letter from Pakistani students at the University of Science and Technology Beijing (USTB), encouraging them to gain knowledge and understanding of China and hold exchanges with young people to enhance the building of a community of a shared future for mankind. 

Pakistani students who stayed in Beijing received good care and those who returned to Pakistan received personal protective equipment like masks from China, which deeply touched their hearts and prompted their idea of writing a letter to President Xi. 

Students wrote the letter and sent it via the university in April to mark friendship of the two countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the letter, the students shared the university's assistance in epidemic control and maintaining their studies, their experience of studying and living in China, as well as witnessing fast development of the country.

The students, when reached by the Global Times, said they were excited about receiving a letter of response from President Xi. They stressed that China and Pakistan are real friends sharing weal and woe, and spoke highly of China's epidemic-control efforts and contribution to the world pandemic fight. 

This warm interaction came just ahead of the 69th anniversary of diplomatic ties of China and Pakistan, which falls on Thursday. 

Learning that the students have enriched their knowledge and made quite a few Chinese friends while studying in China, Xi said he felt happy for the achievements they have made.

Xi said he learned that many foreign students have expressed their support to the Chinese people in various ways during China's fight against COVID-19.

"A friend in need is a friend indeed," he said, adding that China will continue providing various help to all foreign students studying in the country.

Xi welcomed outstanding youth from other countries to study in China. He also encouraged the students to communicate more with their Chinese peers and join hands with youth from all countries to contribute to promoting people-to-people connections and building a community with a shared future for mankind. 

Photo taken on March 29, 2020 shows officials from Pakistan National Disaster Management Authority and the Chinese Embassy pose for group photo during a hand-over ceremony of medical supplies at Noor Khan Air Base near Islamabad, Pakistan. (Xinhua/Liu Tian)

Among 52 Pakistani students in the university, 45 returned to their home country and seven stayed in Beijing during the COVID-19 epidemic and were well taken care of.

Irfan Hussain, a PhD student in material engineering, told the Global Times that university staff had given them masks, taken their temperatures every day, and helped with sanitation work. 

Midrar Ullah, who is majoring in management, was happy that his studies were not affected by the pandemic, as lectures, assignments and research were all conducted online. 

Except of being online, everything was routine, and the online library helped a lot. "We were in quarantine for a long time but I did not encounter much difficulty in daily life," Ullah said. 

Ali Khan, a third-year PhD student, told the Global Times that the only difficulty he met was they were not allowed to leave campus, which was "actually a good thing to protect us." 

Khan's father studied at USTB from 1979 to 1983 and received a bachelor's degree in mining. His father spoke a lot about his life in Beijing, which inspired Ali to pursue his studies at the school too. "I came to Beijing in 2014 and I will pass on the ties between my family and the school to my children," said Khan. 

Abdul Sattar, who chose to stay in Beijing, shared epidemic-control knowledge with his family and friends back in Pakistan. "The school takes good care of us regardless of our nationality and race," he said.  

These Pakistani students also wished for development of both countries and deeper friendship between the two sides. They are determined to further their studies and contribute to major strategic projects such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative. 

China began receiving international students from Pakistan in 1964. In 2018, some 28,000 Pakistani students studied in China, according to the Chinese Ministry of Education

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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