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Pleasant moments spent in China July 2023

Memories of pleasant moments spent in China in July 2023 still linger in my mind. The reason for this is that I had the opportunity to visit China again five years after my last visit in December 2019, just before the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world in January 2020, affecting China the most. From 2020 to September 2022, China’s contact with the international community had virtually severed due to fears of the pandemic’s impact and the spread of the virus. Memories of Peking University in 2019 and moments spent in China had etched themselves in my heart and mind, and there was a fear in my heart that I might never get the chance to visit China again.
With each passing year from 2020 to 2021 and then from 2021 to 2022, there was always hope that things might improve in China, and the country would once again open its doors with colors, lights, and welcoming scents to greet people from the rest of the world. Then in June 2023, I received a formal invitation to visit China from the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad. So, after a gap of five years, I got the opportunity to visit China once more.
As the plane took off from Islamabad International Airport, there was so much joy in the air that expressing emotions and feelings in words is difficult. My mind was filled with countless thoughts about how much China might have changed after the COVID-19 pandemic or whether I would still have to face restrictions upon arriving in China.
The flight was scheduled to depart from Islamabad Airport at 8:30 PM towards Karachi, China Air 946. Besides a slight change – they had added Marx to the Air Hostels – China seemed the same as after 2019. The customs and immigration procedures went smoothly, and, as always, China Foreign Office’s gracious host, my good friend with an English name, was there to welcome us.
After completing all the necessary formalities at the airport, I collected my luggage and, just as before, China Foreign Office had arranged for dinner at a nearby shop. After having breakfast, our next destination from Beijing Airport was Shanghai, the economic hub of China.
During the flight to Shanghai, I was fortunate to have a window seat, which provided me with the opportunity to witness the breathtaking views of the city. As the plane descended at Beijing International Airport, I was welcomed by the soothing sounds of traditional Chinese music.
After completing immigration formalities at the airport, I collected my belongings and, as always, China Foreign Office’s gracious host, my good friend with an English name, was there to welcome us. She greeted all the guests and then we bought breakfast from a shop at the airport.
After having breakfast, our journey to Shanghai, the next destination, began. Shanghai was just as mesmerizing as ever, with its modern skyline and the water of the Huangpu River flowing majestically through the heart of the city. The tall skyscrapers were a testament to China’s progress, and they seemed to be pointing towards a promising future for China.
While in Shanghai, I visited various historical sites, tracing the journey of China’s development from the founding of the Communist Party in 1921 to the changes that have taken place until 2023. I also had the opportunity to visit educational institutions in China, and it became evident that when nations focus on education, there is no stopping their progress. The universities in Shanghai and Beijing were a testament to the fact that when nations prioritize education, they pave the way for their development.
On July 18th, I had the privilege of giving a seminar at Fudan University in Shanghai, which is considered the largest university in the world. The seminar focused on the importance of China-Pakistan economic corridor and the roles of China and Pakistan in the region. During the course of this trip, I also had the chance to meet with officials from China Road and Bridge Corporation, which has played a significant role in developing roads and infrastructure, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Shanghai Road and Bridge Corporation also organized a seminar in which they highlighted how they have contributed to the development of roads worldwide. The seminar was followed by a sumptuous dinner where guests were treated with humility and grace.
After this event, our next destination was the Great Wall of China. To reach the Wall, we used a chair lift. The chair lift takes you to the Great Wall, which is often called the Eighth Wonder of the World. There is no doubt that this wall has a magical effect. The atmosphere is enchanting, and each year, people from all over the world come to see this great wonder.
Next, we embarked on a journey to our final destination, the capital of China, Beijing. To reach Beijing, we took the fastest train from Shanghai. The journey was comfortable, and the cleanliness and punctuality of public transport in China were truly commendable. Beijing was a bustling city, but this time, the hotel we stayed at was even more beautiful than before.
After settling in our hotel, we were outside waiting for our bus because we had been invited for dinner by the Ambassador of Pakistan to China, Moin ul Haque, who was very gracious in hosting us. During the dinner, discussions revolved around educational, international, industrial, and trade cooperation between both countries, highlighting the importance of the Belt and Road Initiative.
China’s progress was evident on its roads, with beautiful gardens and trees lining the streets. There was traffic during certain hours, but China had opened its doors to the world again after the COVID-19 pandemic, just as before. During this trip, there were exchanges between students, traders, industrialists, and cultural and trade delegations from both countries.
There was also a seminar with China Road and Bridge Corporation, which discussed the importance of their work in building infrastructure and roads. The seminar emphasized how China’s One Belt One Road initiative has contributed to the development of many countries. our next destination was the Great Wall of China. The route towards the Great Wall was adorned with natural beauty, and the captivating scenery along the way was touching our hearts. To reach the wall, a chair lift was used. The Great Wall, often referred to as the Seven wonder of the world, undoubtedly holds a magical charm. It’s a mesmerizing environment, and every year, millions of people from around the world come to see this magnificent wall. The solidity of the Great Wall of China reflects China’s determination to lead it to its destination.
In conclusion, the memories of my trip to China in July 2023 are etched in my mind. The visit was a testament to China’s progress and its commitment to international cooperation. The beauty of China’s cities, the hospitality of its people, and the remarkable infrastructure left a lasting impression. China had opened its doors to the world once again, and it was a journey filled with unforgettable experience

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