Thursday, June 25, 2015

Liu wants more US students in China

Vice-Premier Liu Yandong would like to see more American students study in China.
"Right now, there's a deep imbalance, and we hope that there will be more American students in China," she said.

Liu spoke during a plenary session of the China-U.S. High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) on Wednesday in Washington. For the first time, the CPE is happening in the same city as the China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

image from, with caption Secretary Kerry and Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong Participate in the U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange Working Lunch

"We're proud of the strength of these exchanges, but we think there's more to be done," said U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, adding that there are only about 14,000 American students in China, but close to 275,000 Chinese students in the United States.
Blinken said that the partnerships formed at this round of CPE will encourage more cross-cultural study abroad.

Liu, co-chair on the CPE with Secretary of State John Kerry, said that the exchange of students is "our priority". China will launch a new initiative that will award 10,000 Chinese students with scholarships to study in the U.S.

The two sides have implemented 104 deliverables on education during this CPE, according to Liu.

Also on the education front, the nations announced that universities in both countries have signed Memorandums of Understanding to increase collaboration in research, with a higher-education meeting being planned for later this year.

A network of 42 historically black colleges in the U.S. is announcing the formation of a U.S.-China university scholarship alliance, which will enable 1,000 U.S. students to study in China with support from the Chinese government.

Hanban, officially known as the Chinese National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, will lead a delegation of students from the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities to study in China as well.

"Involvement and understanding are what people-to-people exchanges are all about — learning about each other's traditions, appreciating each other's cultures and concerns, worldviews and perspectives, and ultimately, if all goes well, understanding each other and generating trust that enables partnership," Blinken said.

The story of U.S.-China relations "has the potential to be one of genuine accomplishment. There is literally no limit to its possibilities," he said. "That's good for the United States, and that's good for China. The CPE is an investment, and it's an investment that I'm convinced will continue to pay dividends for all of us."

On sports, there will be new exchanges between athletes, which will include fencing training camps in both countries, and sports exchanges in volleyball, snowboarding, water polo and basketball, according to Richard Stengel, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and affairs. In 2016, the Beijing Sport University will cooperate with Springfield College's third sports symposium, he said.

The two countries also will cooperate on the arts, including on a joint film project currently being filmed in China by acclaimed director Zhang Yimou, starring American actor Matt Damon. The film is the largest film entirely shot in China, and will "connect people and foster mutual understanding", Stengel said.

Zhang said via video during the session that film will give viewers a "window into new places that they may have never seen before".

On health issues, Liu recounted China and the U.S.' cooperation during the outbreak of the Ebola virus in west Africa. The two countries shared real-time information and technological guidelines and standards when China's teams arrived in Liberia.

"These touching stories and fruitful results demonstrated the passion of people from different walks of life, revealed the charm of the CPE, and injected vitality into the China-U.S. relationship," she said.

Liu said that seeing all the productive outcomes of the CPE made her even "more confident of the prospect" of the exchanges that the two countries have engaged in, and she said she believes that the magnitude and depth of cooperation between the two countries is unprecedented.

"More than 30 years ago, China's reform began, and so did normalization of relations," Liu said. "In the coming 30 years, China will strive to meet its goals of building a harmonious modern country. We will make sure that Chinese people will have better living conditions so they will live happier lives. The Chinese dream is about peaceful development and win-win cooperation, which is closely related to the American dream."

Liu said that "for China and the U.S., respecting each other, pursuing win-win cooperation, and (the) building of new model relations will not only bring benefits to two people but will contribute to world peace. China will only open wider to the outside world, and China's environment will become fairer, more transparent and predictable."

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