Why Young Pakistanis Are Learning Chinese

GILGIT, Pakistan—On a July morning, Saqlain Abbas, 26 years old, stood before rows of students, Mandarin textbook in hand, while a Pakistani soldier sat silently at the back of the classroom with a gun at his side. Hanging on the wall was a collection of idyllic Chinese landscapes—the reddish-orange mountains of Gansu, the placid waters of a lake in Xinjiang. Here, at Karakoram International University, in a remote, rugged terrain that is still contested territory between India and...


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