The opening ceremony of ASEAN-China Young Leaders Scholarship Class 2019 held in Peking University

On October 15, the opening ceremony of ASEAN-China Young Leaders Scholarship Class 2019 was held in Peking University. Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other institutions and students of the program attended the ceremony. Peking University Council Chair Qiu Shuiping and other leaders addressed the ceremony. The opening ceremony was hosted by Wang Shenggang, deputy secretary-general of the China Scholarship Council.

Qiu Shuiping extended a warm welcome to the teachers and students in the program. Peking University has been strengthening cooperation with other educational institutes in ASEAN countries and cultivating more talents with a global view, which contributes to the construction of ASEAN-China Community of Shared Destiny proposed by President Xi Jinping. Qiu Shuiping offered three suggestions to the participants. In the first place, adapt to new environments, work hard in the pursuit of truth and be talents with high qualities. Secondly, “walk the talk” and understand China deeply in practice. Last but not least, be tolerant and enhance communication and understanding with each other. All the participants can serve as ambassadors and bonds connecting China and ASEAN countries.

Kung Phoak, ASEAN’s Deputy Secretary-General, expressed thanks to Peking University and other universities in China for their support to the program. He pointed out that the multi-dimensional and multi-layered communication of ASEAN students with China would deepen bilateral understanding and contribute to both sides in people-to-people exchanges, education, science and technology, etc. He hoped the ASEAN students could take advantage of the precious opportunity to understand the history, culture and developing mode of China, enhance friendship with Chinese youths and strive for social and regional progress.

Mao Ning, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Asian Affairs of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, introduced the close connection between China and ASEAN in terms of education, economy, commerce and so on. In particular, various forms of exchanges in education have performed a fundamental role, with nearly 100,000 students from ASEAN countries studying in China. She expressed confidence on the pioneering young leaders program and hoped that the participants could share their experience in China with their family and friends back home, helping them better understand China.

Jose Santiago L. Sta. Romana, Philippine Ambassador to China, emphasized the significance of tech communication between China and ASEAN. The application of high techs in a country entails high-quality education of its citizens, which highlights the meaning of the scholarship. Romana recalled the years he spent studying in China and encouraged the students to be bridges between the two sides with their efforts. Qiao Bu (transliteration), a Philippine student pursuing doctorate in Beijing Institute of Technology spoke on behalf of the first students of the program.

President Xi Jinping proposed the initiative of building the ASEAN-China Community of Shared Destiny, which serves to build the Belt and Road Initiative with neighboring countries, deepen educational exchanges and cooperation and cultivate talents for regional development. Premier Li Keqiang announced the establishment of the ASEAN-China Young Leaders Scholarship at the 21st ASEAN-China Summit in 2018. On 31st July 2019, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the launching ceremony of the scholarship in Bangkok. The scholarship intends to enhance people-to-people exchanges between ASEAN and China, providing opportunities for ASEAN talents to study in China. The China Scholarship Council is responsible for implementing the program, and Peking university and other 21 universities are hosts.

Office of International Relations of Peking University, in accordance with China’s national strategy, holds the ASEAN-China Young Leaders Scholarship training program aiming to enhance exchanges of experience in governance and development from October 14 to 23, enrolling 46 students from 9 ASEAN countries. The program holds seminars and on-the-spot investigations to help students learn more about China, especially in terms of economic transform, urban construction, modern agriculture, poverty alleviation and advanced technology. Through the program, participants will have a better understanding of the reform and opening up, the governance of China and the Belt and Road Initiative.