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Beijing Forum (2016) Held in Islamabad

MAY . 31 2016
Peking University, May 31, 2016: At the invitation of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in China and the National University of Sciences and Technology of Pakistan (NUST), the Beijing Forum-Islamabad 2016, the first overseas series of the Beijing Forum, was successfully held by Peking University, NUST, the China Silk Road Cultural Development Foundation, and the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan from May 24 to 27 in Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan. Noted experts and scholars from China and Pakistan exchanged ideas about political, economic and cultural issues. They looked back upon the 65 glorious years of China-Pakistan diplomatic ties, and envisaged new directions and opportunities for the bilateral relations to move forward in the “Community of Common Destiny for All Mankind”.

Guests at the opening ceremony

Mamnoon Hussain and Zhu Shanlu at the opening ceremony
Mamnoon Hussain, President of Pakistan; Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman of Higher Education Commission, Pakistan; Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning Development and Reform, Pakistan; Masood Khalid, Ambassador of Pakistan to the People's Republic of China; Muhammad Asghar, Lieutenant General (retired) and NUST Rector; and over fifty other foreign representatives that have made great achievements in the field of China-Pakistan economic, political and cultural relations attended the Forum as well. Also present at the Forum were Sun Weidong, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan; Geng Yan, Chairman of the China Silk Road Cultural Development Foundation; Zhu Shanlu, Chairman of Peking University Council; Zhang Xin’gang, Honorary Professor of Peking University and former President of City University of Hong Kong; Jia Qingguo, Dean of the School of International Studies, Peking University; Zheng Xiaoying, Director of the Institute of Population Research, Peking University; Professor Wu Changqi, Guanghua School of Management, Peking University; and some forty other Chinese representatives from Peking University, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS), China PLA National Defense University, the Institute of South Asian Studies at Sichuan University, and other academic institutions.

Extending China-Pakistan Friendship and Increasing Dialogue Between Civilizations
With the theme of “Harmony of Civilizations and Prosperity for All – China and Pakistan in the Community of Common Destiny for All Mankind”, the Islamabad chapter took a holistic approach to the past, present and future of China and Pakistan with the principle of “encouraging the study of humanities and social sciences in the Asia-Pacific region as well as academic and social progresses of the region and the world, thus contributing to the development and prosperity for all.” Being the political and cultural centers of Asia, both China and Pakistan share a long history of close and steady relationship and extensive strategic interests in safeguarding Asia-Pacific regional stability and fighting terrorism within the political and economical landscapes of globalization. The “One Belt and One Road” initiative, the “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” and other national programs have made the two countries even more closely interconnected than ever before. Deepening inter-civilization dialogue between China and Pakistan is therefore of great significance to jointly disseminating eastern wisdom and promoting the values of Asia. The convening of the Beijing Forum-Islamabad 2016 fulfilled China’s commitments to enhancing people-to-people exchanges with Pakistan and proved the remarkable achievements of such exchanges. It was also a step forward taken by the two countries towards the vision of a “new civilization”.

Mamnoon Hussain delivering an address

Sun Weidong at the forum

Respecting Cultural Diversity for the Advancement of Mutual Understanding and Mutual Improvement
The Beijing Forum Islamabad (2016) raised its curtains on the afternoon of May 24 at NUST. Amer Hashmi, Advisor to NUST and President of NUST's Global Think Tank Network, and Dr. Li Yansong, Vice President of Peking University, delivered welcome speeches. Keynote speeches were heard from Mamnoon Hussain, President of Pakistan; Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman of Higher Education Commission, Pakistan; Sun Weidong, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan; Zhu Shanlu, Chairman of Peking University Council; and Muhammad Asghar, NUST Rector. From different angles, they looked back on ancient Pakistani civilization and stories of China-Pakistan friendship, stressed the necessity of people-to-people exchanges and dialogues and recognized cultural diversity as a basic aspect of human society. With the current trend of economic globalization, the outstanding characteristics of cultures of all nations and peoples will blend together. This is the only way for a world culture to take shape and is a something that is required for each country to be aware of in building the 21st century’s culture.

Zhu Shanlu

Muhammad Asghar

Li Yansong delivering the opening address at the opening ceremony

Deepening Dialogue and Exploring the Paths of Development
During this three-day session, scholars from both countries discussed China-Pakistan regional relationships, culture, diplomacy, and development among other topics. Representatives spoke about "Chinese Civilization and the Silk Road” in retrospect of the history of friendly exchanges between the two countries; “Silk Road and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor”, "The Significance of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and Rural-Urban Demography”, "China-Pakistan Strategic Partnership to Build a Community of Common Destiny for All Mankind” and “Transportation, Infrastructure and Logistics Support for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” to deepen China-Pakistan cooperation; and “For a World of Multi-Polarity: China’s Perspective” and “China & World Economy” to address harmony and the shared development of the world. Through general meetings, group discussions and roundtables, experts and scholars from the two countries drew upon their individual expertise to offer advice and suggestions for exchanges and how to achieve common prosperity among civilizations.
The year 2016 celebrates the 65th anniversary of China-Pakistan diplomatic ties and marks a milestone in implementing the “One Belt and One Road” initiative. Beijing Forum-Islamabad (2016) was the first overseas session of Beijing Forum in its twelve-year history, and it’s part of the Beijing Forum’s efforts of going global and opening up dialogues with other civilizations. Through concerted efforts of Chinese and Pakistani scholars, the Beijing Forum in Islamabad was devoted to celebrating the 65th anniversary of China-Pakistan ties and implementing the “One Belt and One Road” initiative. It offered new insights into promoting economic reciprocity, mutual political trust, people-to-people interaction, and academic prosperity between Northeast Asia and South Asia.

Participants of the forum pose for a group photo

About the Beijing Forum
Endorsed by the State Council and the Ministry of Education of China, the Beijing Forum has been held annually since 2004, as an international academic event co-sponsored by Peking University, the Beijing Municipal Commission on Education, and the Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies under the guidance of the Beijing Municipal Government. Its first overseas session was hosted in May 2016 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Beijing Forum encourages the study of humanities and social sciences in the Asia-Pacific region and promotes academic and social progress locally and internationally, thus contributing to the development and prosperity for all.

Beijing Forum is an international academic event that advocates for “the harmony of civilizations”. Based on the solid cultural foundation of Beijing, the Forum introduces as well as takes in high-level academic achievements and research findings of the world; it is a powerhouse for the academic progress of the Asia-Pacific region and a gathering place of researchers from around the world. After more than a decade of growth, the Beijing Forum has established itself as a first-rate academic organization with considerable influence in the global arena.

Edited by: Zhang Jiang
Source: Office of International Relations