Overseas students get cash awards

Updated: 2014-05-10 22:50

By LIU ZHENG in New York (China Daily USA)

Thirty self-financed Chinese overseas students were rewarded for their academic achievements in a ceremony at the Chinese consulate in New York on May 9.

At the event, which named the 2013 Chinese Government Awards for Outstanding Students Abroad Consular Jurisdiction of New York, Consul General Sun Guoxiang delivered a keynote speech.

According to Sun, this year marks the 35th anniversary of China-US diplomatic relations and 35 years ago, only 52 Chinese students were studying in the US. Today the number has increased to more than 230,000. At the same time, more than 30,000 American students are studying in China.

"People-to-people exchanges have always been a strong driving force behind China-US relations," said Sun.

Harvard University student Cong Le, who won a $10,000 extraordinary potential prize, gave a speech on behalf of the honorees. "Being here, far from our motherland, we sense even more vividly the peaceful and powerful rise of China," he said.

Cong said that between the industry innovations by Chinese companies like Alibaba, Huawei and Tencent and scientific achievements flourishing in universities and organizations like Beijing Genomics Institute to the establishment of Confucius Institutes around the world, overseas students are really fueling the opening-up of China and have brought massive opportunities to Chinese people and the rest of the world.

Other speakers on Friday included professor John T. Groves, member of National Academy of Sciences; professor Héctor D. Abruña, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Dr David Heath, president of the SUNY College of Optometry; and Dr Yang Qing, vice-president of the Rhode Island Association of Chinese American Professors.

"We want the best and the brightest and we are getting them from China, and that’s a pleasure, and you see the product of that today," said Randi B. Silver, Associate Dean of the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences. One of her students, Jin Xin, was awarded $6,000 at the event.

"Chinese students are studying everywhere and they do an excellent job," said Heath.

In Houston, a similar ceremony was held on Saturday and the newly appointed Consul General Li Qiangmin addressed the winners. According to Li, 28 students from southern US have won the award, and Tao Guangmin, a PhD holder from Florida, is one of the five nationwide to have won the extraordinary excellence award.

Tao, who has just graduated and now works as a research scientist at university, said through his study and research, he has tried to help China train research talents.

This year, a total of 518 Chinese students in 24 countries won awards, including six extraordinary potential prize winners.

The Chinese government established the Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad Award in 2003.

Administered by the China Scholarship Council, the annual awards' criteria are that students be under 40 years old, have a Chinese passport and have been enrolled in a doctoral program for more than a year.

All academic disciplines are covered, and prizes include a certificate and cash — $6,000 for most recipients, $10,000 for the extraordinary potential category.

Student winners are selected through a rigorous process of evaluation of their academic and research work.

At least three rounds of judging are conducted by experts from each student's field of study, both in China and the host country.


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