His Excellency Mr. Yao Jing, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Pakistan, Honourable Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Professor Li Fei, Vice President of Wuhan University, Federal Minister Mr. Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Founding Trustee, Dr. Parvaiz Hassan, Syed Babar Ali Sb, Deans, and respected guests. Assalam o Alaikum. Ni Hao.
Huā yíng lie dào LUMS.
I feel privileged to be part of this seminal moment at this milestone event, in this building that saw the potential to build on a legacy that began some time ago. Dr. Parvaiz Hassan and many others here this evening inaugurated this building 4 years ago to share the vision of a world-class School that would see legal training and scholarship flourish in Pakistan.
Today marks another such moment through the Center of Chinese Legal Studies (or CCLS) to reaffirm that vision which committed the School of Law that saw no borders to research, teaching and service to the community.
As the west looks increasingly to the east, and in particular to China for its lead in economic growth and more recently to its remarkable progress in scientific research and higher education, we thank China for being a steadfast friend and ally of Pakistan for over 70 years.
And as you know, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (or CPEC) which is part of the one belt one road global initiative has announced mega projects focusing on energy and infrastructure that connect Western China to the Indian Ocean. While the investments are in capital assets, the success and sustainability of CPEC will critically depend on the development of human resources on both sides to promote mutual collaboration through academic, cultural and personal exchanges.
The role of CCLS promote exchanges with Wuhan University to teach Chinese law courses, conduct training seminars and attend conferences and symposia on the Chinese legal system. By building academic capacity to study and teach courses in Chinese law through CCLS, both countries stand to gain as our ties are strengthened through CPEC and the Belt and Road Initiative.
This important initiative must succeed for future generations not only to benefit Asia, but to benefit the world which as I mentioned is increasingly looking to China for its remarkable progress in scientific research and higher education.
I was in Wuhan last year to see first-hand China’s Double First-Class University Plan which aims to create a group of world-class universities and disciplines by the end of 2050. According to the Nature Index, and Times Higher Education, 72 Chinese universities are listed in the table, which makes it the fourth most represented nation in the world and now in the Top 10 of emerging institutions in scientific research.
The partnership with LUMS, a not-for-profit university opens doors to over 4,500 students, 13,000 alumni and some 300 faculty teaching in 5 Schools. We are small, and we are young, but we are also top of our class among the 200 universities in Pakistan. For the past two years we have ranked number one in QS employability rankings in Asia placing 95% of our students within 9 months of graduation. And overall, during each of the past 4 years LUMS has improved to a cumulative increase of 86 places giving us a spot in the top 100 schools.
The School of Law has always been an incubator of innovation which is where a 5 year BA-LL.B programme was pioneered, where interdisciplinarity is ingrained in the curriculum, and where we are already producing world class scholarship in Islamic law, comparative corporate law and governance, human rights law, family law and more.
As Wuhan and LUMS forge stronger ties through CCLS, we are already thinking of a broader nexus of collaboration that will engage other universities like Oxford and Harvard who we are in conversations with for a number to multilateral academic arrangements.
As China’s celebrates its 70th year as the Peoples Republic and looks outward through its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, we l think we can say, China has been a good teacher and we look forward to learn from you.
I’ll close by quoting a disciple of Confucius, who once asked the great educator and philosopher the following question:
“Is there any one word that could guide a person throughout life?"
The Master reflected and replied:
quote "Reciprocity!”. Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself”. Unquote
Reciprocity is a wonderful word that represents the spirit of the Chinese Center for Legal Studies and we could not have a better partner that Wuhan to mark this milestone event.
Thank you. Shurkra. Sien Seeyea