China and Pakistan signed a memorandum on translation and publication of classics to give fresh impetus to cultural and people-to-people exchanges between them.

Although diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan were established on May 21, 1951, the interaction between them started thousands of years ago. Famous Chinese monks Xuan Zang and Fa Xian traveled to Pakistan’s areas around 2,000 years ago to learn Buddhism.

Ancient traders from China, traveling to Europe via the Silk Route, passed through parts of Pakistan several thousand years ago proving interactions between the two nations. The ancient traders also interacted with local people and learned about each other’s culture.

The base of friendship between China and Pakistan is solid and deep. In the early days of the establishment of diplomatic relations, the focus of our relations was primarily political and diplomatic. Then defense ties got momentum, especially after the India-China war in 1962.

In the 1970s, Pakistan facilitated normalizing relations between China and the US. Pakistan contributed to getting the UN seat for China.

Cooperations between China and Pakistan enhanced rapidly, and agreements were signed between the two countries in many sectors, including cooperation in education, culture, science and technology, etc.

The signing of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in 2013 opened many avenues of cooperation on the economic front. Initially, the focus was on power projects and infrastrutre developments. But in phase II, the focus is agriculture, industrialization, social sector, health, and poverty eradication.

The success of CPEC depends on how much understanding and harmony has developed between the two nations. There is a dire need to understand each other’s culture, language, traditions, history, political system, and governance.

Under the newly signed agreement, the two sides agreed to publish 50 classics considered to be the most classic, meaningful, and top-rated in the two countries in the next five years, with experts’ joint efforts in culture and publication from both sides. Some famous books and publications may be translated into each other’s language. There will enhanced cooperation among the media outlets of the two countries.

It was recently noted that publishers on both sides are eager to strengthen collaboration and bring the two Iron Bothers closer. The film industry of both countries is also engaged in collaborations.

However, the real potential of tourism is crucial to enhance people to people contact. On the one hand, tourists enjoy the nature and hospitality of each other and at the same time, through interaction, learn each other’s culture, traditions, strentgths and potentails. Tourism may become a useful tool to promote harmony and opportunities for collaboration.

The singing of this agreement is also part of the activities to mark the 70th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties between China and Pakistan. There are numerious activities to mark the 70th Anniversary.

Both governments are committed to highlight the importance of the anniversary and generate more avenues of cooperation and collaboration in all-dimension. It is expected that post-pandemic, many new projects and activities will emege.

This agreement may be the first step only, but many other activities will be visible for the rest of the year. It is the second memorandum of China signed with an Asian country, following the one signed with Singapore on December 8, 2020.