Ed­u­ca­tion Di­plo­macy along­side the Belt and Road

The Diplomatic Insight - - Editor's Note - Dr. Am­mar Younas

his pa­per ar­gues that the re­gional po­lit­i­cal dy­nam­ics and eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion ini­tia­tives taken by the China show that there is a pos­si­bil­ity of form­ing an Asian Union. More­over, as a part of “Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive”, there is plenty of room to ini­ti­ate an “Asian Ed­u­ca­tion Union” with its own credit hour sys­tem, de­signed to make it eas­ier for stu­dents to move between dif­fer­ent coun­tries along the belt. Since they are based on the learn­ing achieve­ments and work­load of a course, a stu­dent could trans­fer th­ese cred­its from one univer­sity to an­other, so they are added up to con­trib­ute to an in­di­vid­ual’s de­gree pro­gram or train­ing.

Euro­pean Union Vs Eurasian Union and Asian Union

Re­cenlty, Pak­istan and In­dia has be­come per­ma­nent mem­bers of Shaghai Cor­po­ra­tion Or­gan­i­sa­tion, which is a huge step to­wards re­gional in­ter­gra­tion and provoides plently of room for arena of ed­u­ca­tional di­plo­macy. If we look at the for­ma­tion of Euro­pean Union, shadow in­stru­ments like soft politics, cul­tural and ed­u­ca­tional di­plo­macy pa­lyed a lead­ing role in the in­te­gra­tion of the re­gion. Word “In­te­gra­tion” refers to con­nect­ing dif­fer­ent parts, which gives a sense that it is some­thing which re­quires engi­neer­ing at mi­cro level. But if we look at the his­tory of the evo­lu­tion­ary process through which Euro­pean Union have evolved, it demon­strates “in­te­gra­tion” as a Macro level process. “The Euro­pean Union is set up with the aim of end­ing the fre­quent and bloody wars between neigh­bors, which cul­mi­nated in the Sec­ond World War. As of 1950, the Euro­pean Coal and Steel Com­mu­nity begins to unite Euro­pean coun­tries eco­nom­i­cally and po­lit­i­cally in or­der to se­cure last­ing peace.”(Europe.Eu) Asia has seen a lot of gloom, blood­shed and de­spair. From the East­ern board­ers of Asia to the East­ern board­ers of Europe, his­tory is ev­i­dent of king­doms fall­ing into rebels and in­di­vid­u­als ris­ing to dic­ta­tors. There were changes of geo­graph­i­cal board­ers and ex­per­i­ments of dif­fer­ent eco­nom­i­cal sys­tems. This is none other than what was hap­pen­ing in Europe. The blood­shed was less but peo­ple were still be­ing per­se­cuted by forced mi­gra­tions, sep­a­ra­tions, eco­nomic sanc­tions, di­ver­sions of state bud­get and much more. Con­sid­er­ing Ja­pan as the east­ern boarder of Asia to the Kaza­khstan as west­ern bor­der, each coun­try seems in a state of war or pre­tend­ing to be neu­tral by ig­nor­ing the fact that they can­not be happy in a bad neigh­bor­hood. Time has come, where china’s “One Belt, One Road” projects pro­vides a hope for Asian in­te­gra­tion with a pos­si­bil­ity of form­ing an Asian Union. The idea of form­ing an Asian Union is not a new con­cept. There are some sim­i­lar but projects like ASEAN in East Asia and Cus­tom Union in Cen­tral Asia are al­ready work­ing. Even there are some ef­forts be­ing made to form a “Eurasian Union”. The pos­si­bil­ity of mak­ing an Asian Union is more likely than a Eurasian Union. There is a huge sim­i­lar­ity between ini­ti­a­tion of Euro­pean In­te­gra­tion process when coun­tries started com­ing close of each other con­sid­er­ing this fact that war is not good. Sim­i­larly, densely pop­u­lated Asia is re­al­iz­ing the fact that peo­ple does mat­ter, and wars have be­come prac­ti­cally im­pos­si­ble. The co­op­er­a­tion is the only so­lu­tion and the de­mand of Chi­nese idea of start­ing a project by nam­ing it as “One Belt, One Road” which is no other than eco­nom­i­cal frame­work of Euro­pean Union, is a prac­ti­cal step to con­nect more than 60 coun­tries from the Asia, Africa and Europe. The main pur­pose of this project is to im­prove the eco­nom­i­cal co­op­er­a­tion between the coun­tries, shar­ing re­sources, build­ing trusts and im­prov­ing the cul­tural and ed­u­ca­tional ex­changes (China Daily). The process of Asian In­te­gra­tion seems much eas­ier than the Euro­pean one be­cause of the fact that Asian coun­tries has stronger historical ties and sympathies to­wards each other, less ag­gres­sion and more ex­pe­ri­ence of deal­ing with mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism. In ad­di­tion to this, Cen­tral Asia, South Asia and East­ern Europe had no need to think about new routes. There are historical trade routes which need to be ren­o­vated only. There is a greater like­li­hood of a Eurasian Union be­cause the mo­ment when th­ese Chi­nese routs will en­ter into Europe, the clash of val­ues will emerge. Where a lot of “So­cial Stig­mas” are at­tached with ac­cept­ing Asian, as Euro­peans are ac­cept­ing their other Euro­pean fel­lows. Even aca­demi­cians are com­par­ing Euro­pean val­ues with Asian val­ues con­sid­er­ing them com­pletely dif­fer­ent from them­selves. The work at macro level be­ing done between Asian gov­ern­ments for eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion ad­vo­cates much higher in weigh­tage than the co­op­er­a­tion go­ing on between Asian and Euro­pean coun­tries. With the emer­gence of co­op­er­at­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions and con­cepts like Asian Tigers, Asian Eco­nomic Pow­ers, Cus­tom Unions, SCO, ASEAN, SAARC we can ad­vo­cate for an Asian Union which seems prac­ti­cally pos­si­ble as com­pared with Eurasian Union. of Asian Union has been in­ni­ti­ated by Chian it­self by re­con­struct­ing the Silk Road. The sec­ond step can in the area of

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