BE2C2 Report — Over 19,000 students from Pakistan are studying in China, with the number of students from 64 countries along the new Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road having significantly increased over the last two years.
The rise in number of Pakistani students studying in Chinese universities comes amid China and Pakistan’s initiative to build a $56 billion southern Corridor of the economic belt.
Called the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, the $56 billion initiative will connect Gwadar port in Balochistan with its all-weather friend’s northwestern province of Xiniang. A similar initiative involving India and its northeastern region will connect with China’s eastern regions.
Xu told APP news agency that a series of preferential policies drafted by the Chinese government for students from these countries contributed to the remarkable rise in their numbers, including offering 10,000 places each year for students from countries along the Belt and Road Initiative to study in China under the support of the Chinese Government Scholarship.
“The growth rate exceeds that of China’s international students as a whole,” said Xu Tao, director of the ministry’s Department of International Cooperation and Exchange.
According to statistics released by the Chinese Ministry of Education, more than 200,000 students from 64 countries along the One Belt and One Road Initiative were studying in China last year, up 14 per cent from 2015, China Daily reported.
Liu Jinghui, secretary-general of the China Scholarship Council, which administers the scholarship, said 49,000 international students from 183 countries and regions received the scholarship last year, among which those from countries along the initiative accounted for 61pc.
Xu estimated that the proportion would continue to grow next year.
According to Xu, China has now become the largest destination for students seeking overseas studies in Asia.
More than 440,000 students from 205 countries and regions were studying in China last year, a year-on-year rise of 11.4pct.