The Confucius Institute of the University of Karachi organized a function to celebrate the ‘Happy Spring Festival’ to mark the Chinese New Year, Gwadar Pro reported on Monday. Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chancellor (VC) of the Karachi University Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi said without any doubt, China was one of the most trusted friends of Pakistan and it had once again proved its time tested friendship during Covid-19 pandemic. He said the whole nation has witnessed that the Chinese government has come forward to help the federal and the provincial governments of Pakistan and provided protecting gears, necessary equipment, and vaccines to tackle coronavirus pandemic, adding that was why people of Pakistan believe that China was their sincere and reliable friend. During the last 70 years, China stood by Pakistan in every difficult time. China has become a great economic power, largely due to far-reaching national decisions in the economic sector, he added. The Pak-China Economic Corridor project was a milestone for Pak-China friendship and improvement of the Pakistani economy. Pak-China relations are an inspiring beacon for the nations of the two countries. Professor Dr Khalid Iraqi said the Chinese language has now become an international language and over time, the number of Chinese language learners is increasing. He also appreciated the hard work and efforts of Chinese and Pakistani Directors of the Confucius Institute and its faculty members and administrative staff to promote the Chinese Language in the city. Earlier, Chinese Director Confucius Institute University of Karachi Professor Zhang Xiaoping said that a four-year degree programme was being launched in collaboration with the University of Karachi and the Sichuan Normal University of China, and the Centre for Language Education and Cooperation (China). He mentioned that the Chinese language and culture would be introduced at the campus this year. He informed the audience that the memorandum of understanding (MoU) was formally signed last year in this regard. He shared that under the degree programme, students would complete the first two years of classes at the University’s Confucius Institute for Chinese Language and the last two years at Sichuan Normal University in China. “The Centre for Language Education and Cooperation will provide scholarships, including tuition and accommodation expenses.” He hoped that more programmes between the University of Karachi and Sichuan Normal Universities would be started soon.