By: Mohamad Zreik
In the context of the ongoing efforts of the Chinese government to promote cultural and intellectual communication between peoples, and because the one belt and one road initiative launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping supports the people's communication between each other and spreading the spirit of peace in the world and not only economic benefits (win-win situation). A meeting of doctoral students was held with the professors in Xiánníng. The meeting was fruitful and very important, because it achieved its desired results.
A meeting was held on October 27, 2018, which focused on the cultural exchanges and cooperation between China and the countries involved in the belt and road initiative. The meeting included a group of Chinese professors and a group of PhD students from the universities of Wuhan, located in Hubei Province. The meeting is a goodwill gesture by the Chinese government towards foreign students and their countries as well, to show Chinese interest in supporting the interaction between civilizations and students of different cultural backgrounds and also to show the Chinese interest in engaging foreigners in the belt and road initiative.
The meeting was so wonderful; I personally was surrounded by foreign students from all over the world and wonderful professors who are joined by the spirit of cooperation. We had the honor (as PhD students) of representing our University (Central China Normal University) and exchanging views and overviews with students from other universities.
The role of the African continent in this initiative and the historical ties between Africa and China has been addressed and the fact that Africa is China's favorite continent. It also had a special focus on Pakistan because it is today the most important partner of China and the good neighbor. Of course, Pakistan's role in the initiative is very important. As for South East Asia, Indonesia has been specifically targeted because of the pivotal role it plays and its geo-strategic position in the belt and road Initiative. All major powers today are looking forward to this country because of its importance. Egypt was the example of the North African region, the Suez Canal is very important and the location of Egypt will also lead to the success of the initiative.
Lebanon has played a major historic role. In the Silk Road, the Lebanese ports were used to cross to the west. Lebanon is the small window that China has to pass through for reaching the Western world. Lebanon will have an active role in the belt and road initiative, for several reasons, the most important of which is Lebanon's strategic position alongside Syria and the necessity of China's cooperation with Lebanon in the reconstruction of Syria, also Lebanon's strategic location linking the countries of the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. We need Lebanon to achieve the objectives of the initiative, and China has begun to cooperate with Lebanon to this end.
The Chinese culture and civilization are spreading rapidly today, and the most important means of spreading any civilization is the language. Mandarin is becoming more important. Many of the Confucius Institute centers are opening up for teaching Chinese, and I am also proud that the Confucius Institute in Lebanon is not newly opened and all students from the Arab Gulf countries and other Arab countries they come to Lebanon to learn Chinese.
China is a great nation with a civilization of more than three thousand years, so the country that will be China's partner will also become a great country, because China respects its allies and treats them from peer to peer. We never learned that China used the military machine to destroy countries or to spread its influence, China taught us the importance of peace and communication strategy in order to respect and reach the goals in a civilized manner and smooth manner.
I am proud today that I am a PhD candidate in China and I will be a graduate of one of the most important universities in China and the world (Central China Normal University), and I am also proud that my research project is within the framework of the belt and road initiative and the role of Lebanon. I feel that day after day I am getting closer towards the future because the upcoming future is entitled “China”. I would like to thank the Chinese government for its support in order to attend this special meeting, and I personally benefited greatly from participating in this meeting.