Cultural exchanges under BRI will deepen understanding
Published: Apr 28, 2019 09:18 PM
The University of Sargodha based in Pakistan has forged close and friendly relations with China. It has built academic links with many of China's universities and set up the Pakistan Institute of China Studies. This is only one example of China's academic cooperation in recent years. Successful academic exchanges between China and other countries have been increasing rapidly within the framework of China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

As many Chinese universities are deepening exchanges with foreign universities under the framework of BRI, the US has restricted ties with China in academic exchanges and cooperation. Many US universities, including some that are world-renowned, have cut ties with China's Huawei Technologies and the Confucius Institute.

Although the US and some other Western countries' governments are politicizing the normal academic cooperation, China will not shut its door. Nor will it stop academic communication and research with Washington. This shows our open-mindedness. China is increasingly open to cooperation with universities and institutes worldwide.

China keeps expanding its circle of friends, because such cultural and academic exchanges have brought real benefits to the country in its 40 years of reform and opening-up. During the past four decades, China sent its students and scholars overseas on academic exchanges, which greatly widened their views. This also accelerates our country's modernization and promotes the implementation of the BRI. After all, how can a country make any achievement if it only draws up plans behind closed doors?

China's openness echoes the spirit of the BRI's cultural exchanges. The Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) ended Saturday in Beijing, and more than 150 countries and international organizations have signed cooperation documents with China. Such exchanges will be win-win cooperation.

However, it is still a pity that India did not join the BRF. Why? Because it still lacks a comprehensive understanding of China. 

To understand China better, cultural exchanges are of great importance. Some Indian people have doubts about China's BRI, but we still hope to expand cultural exchanges, including cooperation between Chinese and Indian universities, because this helps cast away their misunderstandings. The BRI will act as an effective platform to promote Chinese universities' exchanges with the world.

The BRI not only focuses on economic construction, it also aims at promoting exchanges between countries. Educational and cultural exchanges between universities are an important foundation of economic and trade cooperation. 

Foreign countries may understand the cultural and educational factors in China's economic development through exchange and cooperation, while China also needs to understand  foreign countries' development experience and cultural backgrounds.