High hopes amid the ski slopes of Davos

Updated: 2013-01-25 00:27

(China Daily)

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Tian Wei, a presenter with China Central Television, is grateful to the World Economic Forum for giving her a title beginning with "y" ― young global leader. "This is what I like because it begins with 'y'," said Tian, beginning a conversation with me at the annual conference in Davos.

The title has attracted more than 200 elite young people globally, who, according to forum chairman Klaus Schwab, are "the hopes of the world's tomorrow".

"They are very energetic and they could spend 48 hours without sleep to work on solutions to global concerns," said Tian, a slim, graceful and sharp-minded woman under the age of 40, the cutoff point for being recognized as a young global leader.

A main focus of Tian's agenda during her sleepless stay at the Davos gathering, where she has the opportunity to meet and talk to hundreds of other thinkers, is to compare notes and hold exchanges in public or private about the Diaoyu Islands dispute.

This topic is high on the list of official programs at the 43rd forum and is being discussed by strategists, professors, politicians and other participants.

Tian, who is also a goodwill ambassador of the United Nations Development Program, said she felt extremely encouraged after having an exchange with two Japanese friends.

During a panel discussion on the islands issue moderated by Tian, she invited a male Japanese friend, who is also a young global leader, to take part. In view of the current tense atmosphere, Tian said the Japanese friend was somehow shocked by the warm invitation.

The content of the discussion was not what mattered to her friend. It was being asked to participate. In the Davos media center, Tian recalled emotionally, "He shook my hand warmly and said slowly and emphatically, 'Thank you so much.'" Tian sensed that the goodwill she felt from the Japanese people she met at the forum was similar to that of her peers in China.

During our talk, Tian shared an exchange she had with another Japanese participant at Davos, who said that politics in Japan have gone so far and yet maybe have driven the country nowhere. "But I still need to actively use my voting rights and fulfill my own responsibilities to help bring Japan's political landscape back on track," Tian's friend said.

"The two encounters have really inspired me," said Tian. One very basic conclusion she drew is that ordinary people and elite youth in Japan have high hopes of a sound relationship with China.

Tian said these inspirations would encourage her to do two things after returning to Beijing. One is to enrich her perspective when she hosts her own programs. "Their thoughts and goodwill are so different from politicians and the playing-up of some media, and they are worth spreading and discussing," said Tian.

In addition, she will endeavor to have more people-to-people dialogues, conversations or exchanges, even at the simple level of a chat over coffee. "After comparing notes, your confidence is boosted," said Tian.

Contact the writer at fujing@chinadaily.com.cn