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A Memorable Experience in Beijing: Visiting Great Hall of People
Date and Time: 2017-12-01 13:52:36

On November 16 and 17, the China Scholarship Council CSC arranged a two-day series of activities for the excellent overseas holders of CSC scholarship studying in Chinese universities all around China. 108 excellent international students from the Belt and Road countries selected from 20 universities in 8 different provinces participated in this event.

The theme of the event was "Experiencing China · Beijing" .The main aim of this activity was to give a brief introduction to the Chinese government, education, economy, science, culture and health infrastructure including the political leadership selection system of the nation, provinces, cities, towns and counties. Through this activity we also came to know about the ethnic minorities and their representation in China.

Five SDU international students as representatives of CSC recipients from the countries along the Belt and Road participated in the activity. It was an immense pleasure and honor to represent Pakistan on this forum.

On November 15, excellent CSC recipients from all over China arrived in Beijing. We were warmly welcomed by the CSC representatives and were headed to the university hotels. After the registration, log books with the schedule and important information were given to us. A separate booklet with each student's information was also provided. From here on, the non-stop activities started.

On the morning of November 16, we were invited to visit the Great Hall of the People. Everyone was excited to enter the Great Hall, as it was an opportunity to see the Chinese system and witness the place where the matters of global importance are discussed and decided. A red carpet welcome was waiting for us. After the guided tour of the Great Hall of the People, we were welcomed by Mr. Sheng Jianxue,Secretary General of China Education Association for international Exchange, Mr. Liu Binjie,Chairman of the Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Committeeof the National People's Congress, Mr. Feng Changgen, member of the 11th NPC Standing Committee and member of the Secretariat of the China Association for Science and Technology, Mr. Ye Qilian, director of the Educational Office of theEducation, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee of NPC,and Mr. Xu Jiang, President of the China Academy of Art.

Mr. Liu met with students in the Great Hall of the People to discuss the system of the National People's Congress as well as its standing committee. He also briefed the students about the main administrative authority and the current development of science, education and health in China, and he introduced the infrastructure and system comprehensively. The ethnic minority groups, together with the Han majority, make up the greater Chinese nationality known as Zhonghua minzu (the Chinese ethnic peoples). The representatives of NPC are elected from all over the country. The matters of importance are sent to the CPC working committees and then the implementation of the rules and policies is carried out.

To the question asked by me about the Belt and Road and China Pakistan Economic Corridor, that is how to make CPEC & OBOR a Health Corridor, Mr. Liu replied, "Pakistan and China are brother countries with strong cooperation. China has already completed two hospitals projects in Pakistan and they are included in the corridor." I was glad to hear his answer.

During the two days, the students visited the National People's Congress and the CPPCC National Committee. The participants subdivided into teams visited the National Agricultural Science and Technology Exhibition Park, Jingdong Headquarters, 101 Middle School Huairou Branch, Two bombs and one satellite memorial hall (early nuclear and space project of the People's Republic of China), Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics Museum, Huawei Group, Rail Transit Operation Control System National Engineering Research Center, and Zhongguancun Pioneer Park.

On the evening of November 17, we went to see the Kongfu performance: The Legend of Kongfu. It was simply amazing. The moves and Kongfu performance especially brought by the kids amazed us. We also had an opportunity to meet Mr.Hong Weiguo, the Kongfu Master, who taught us some moves about Kongfu. He said that the aim of Kongfu is not for fighting but for self-defense.

Through the experience and exchange, the students have a better understanding of China's political system, political parties, education, the development of China's modern communication technology, agricultural science and technology, and China's aerospace technology. Out of the busy schedule I grabbed the chance to visit the China Daily Head Office on invitation of Mollyshan (editor in opinion section) with students Asif, Alez and Vladislav from Pakistan, Yemen and Russia to see the editing and printing system of the China Daily publication.

On November 18, all foreign students co-hosted a wonderful show. They performed on the local music combined with Chinese music. Some of the performance including Panama Dance, shadow art performance, guitar and Belt and Road song amazed the audience. Shandong University students' performance, Ahood Ali's recital "Believe in the Future" and Natalia's performance of the 24-style Taijiquan collected the cheers and applause of the audience.

The students from eight provinces and cities including Beijing, Tianjin, Jiangsu, Liaoning, Jilin, Shandong, Hunan and Zhejiang, and from nearly 40 countries including the United States, UK, Pakistan, Laos, Russia, Egypt, Vietnam and Yemen participated in the activity. More than 95% of these students came from the countries along the "Belt and Road".

Bringing the scholars from different countries with different cultural backgrounds is an amazing idea to enhance the cooperation and alleviate the boundaries. The activity also provided the students with an opportunity to learn about different countries cultures, economy, and ethnic and social norms, which helped to promote harmony. It also provided a platform for the international students to learn about the Chinese system from a closer point of view and meet with the elite of the country to discuss the scenarios and share their ideas.

The Belt and Road is state of the art project and it will prove to be a milestone in the history. It will bring the nations together, connect the people and strengthen the cooperation among countries connected to it directly or indirectly.

Written by Muhammad Shahbaz, Ph.D. Student at Shandong University School of Medicine, CSC recipient

Edited by: Xie Tingting

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