[Blog] To China, with Love!

Fatima Tariq

Growing up in a society that was constantly casting doubts over the “quality of Chinese products” and admiring the Western products, I am not the only one who was kept in the dark regarding the real story of hard of the Chinese people behind the prosperity of the China. I was in grade 6 when I got a chance to read Chinese history in the book entitled “Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory” written by Peter Hessler. The book revealed to me about the economic revolution in China and I came to know that how Chinese people reshaped their country. Their history is full of harsh realities and sacrifices. This book unfolded the reality to me that Chinese people were one of the most hardworking and dedicated nation in the world. As a 12-year-old girl, it really inspired and changed my perception towards Chinese nation. It persuaded me to know more about China. I also read a few extracts from “Chalte Ho To Cheen Ko Chaliye” by Ibn e Insha, in my Urdu textbook at school. That travelogue made me fall in love with China. In my view, China is a great nation, and in very little time it has become one of the major powers on the globe.

China is a neighboring country of Pakistan. Every student in Pakistan studies about how the government of China helped Pakistan during the 1965 war and sent their armed forces. China always plays an important role in Pakistan. In July 2013, Pakistan and China signed the agreement from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which will create a linkage between Gwadar Port Pakistan on the Arabian Sea and Kashgar in Xinjiang in Northwest China. CPEC is a game-changer project for Pakistan and its economy.

Pakistan and China have always been greatly associated with each other and I, being a Pakistani, truly acknowledge the alliance between the two countries. Hence, I would like to my personal impressions about China.

In my perception, the Chinese people are courteous. I visited New York a few years back, and I got a chance to reside at a place owned by landlord from Chinese origin. Hiu Sun was a great host. My stay was wonderful with her. While I was leaving New York, she dropped me on her car at the Subway station. She was the nicest lady I encountered in the United States. We are still in contact, and I would love to see her again.

Also, three months back, I met a Chinese couple at some event in Lahore. I really enjoyed talking to them and got to know about them. I was glad to hear that they loved Lahore especially its old architecture and Pakistani food. Last month, I took an introductory class of Chinese language. Ma’am Nian, the instructor, was so polite and considerate towards her students.

What I love about the Chinese nation most is that they value their own custom and traditions. They always maintain their own identity and don’t get influenced by Western nations. They prefer to speak their own language rather than learning second languages. The Chinese people are proud of their own country and festivals. Unlike the rest of the world, they celebrate their new year in the month of February, based on Chinese Lunar Calendar, with zeal and zest.

Chinese food? We Pakistanis love Chinese food, there are a lot of Chinese restaurants in my city; Lahore. I am personally in love with the Chinese food, especially chicken Manchurian, Chow Mien and soup.

I think that the Chinese people have a firm belief in their government and its decisions. Many social media apps are banned in China, with the citizens considering this as a good initiative towards their welfare. Chinese entrepreneurs have made their own social apps, which are extensively used by the citizens.

My perception is that there are a lot of doctors and economists in China. It is an educated country.

Moreover, being a law student myself, my perception of China is that it is a law-abiding nation. I think that there is proper implementation and enforcement of laws there. Being a law student, I am also looking forward to studying the legal system of China in detail to learn aspects that will make our legislation better.

According to me, China is a peace-loving country as I rarely come across any news regarding terrorism in China. Moreover, what I believe is China is one of the major exporters in the world, I visited various countries around the world and found everywhere quality products made by China.

China has very close ties with Pakistan, and being a Pakistani, I welcome Chinese people to Pakistan to taste our culture, food, and study in our educational institutes. I think there should be more exchange programmes between Chinese and Pakistani students to strengthen the “people to people connections” between the two countries. I am also eager to visit China and hope to make this dream a reality soon.

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