Students asked to share China experiences
Updated: 2016-11-12 00:50
By HONG XIAO in New York(China Daily USA)
Stephen Orlins of NCUSCR says 'to whom much is given, much is expected' in pitch for overseas students to spread word on China
Stephen Orlins, president of the National Committee on US China Relations gives a speech about his experience studying and living in China at a young age and the important role that mutual learning plays in bilateral relationships at a reunion reception for returnees from China at the Chinese Consulate General in New York on Wednesday. Photo by Hong Xiao / China Daily
Students who have studied in China are being encouraged to play a larger role in promoting US-China relations.
The Chinese Consulate General in New York held its annual reception for returnees from China on Wednesday. About 400 students and representatives from universities and organizations in the New York consular district attended.
"My study abroad in China gave me access to an international platform. ... I really hope that I can continue my learning toward China and my level in Chinese can help break down these walls between culture and understanding," said Daniel McMonagle, a student at State University of New York-Binghamton.
"To me, language and especially Chinese is about culture and people, and mannerisms, and customs ... it's about art and history and identity," said Carrie Buck, who has studied Peking Opera at the Academy of Chinese Traditional Opera in Beijing.
"I didn't realize all of these before I studied in China and truly experienced it first hand and understood how all of these components work together to form that language and that identity," said Buck.
Peking Opera, song and dance, a fashion show and a guzheng ensemble were performed by students from the Confucius Institute at Alfred University and from SUNY-Binghamton. Photos by hong Xiao / China Daily
Peking Opera, song and dance, a fashion show and Guzheng ensemble were performed by students from the Confucius Institute at Alfred University and from SUNY-Binghamton.
In a keynote speech, Stephen Orlins, president of the National Committee on US China Relations (NCUSCR), shared his experiences of studying and living in China at a young age and talked about the important role that mutual learning plays in bilateral relationships.
Orlins said that those who have been had the privilege of studying in China, of seeing it up close and developing an understanding of the country, have an obligation to participate in the debate about US-China relations.
"To whom much is given, much is expected; you have been given much, so the question becomes 'Will you give back, will you participate in the discussions that are recurring in America about US-China relations?'" he said.
Orlins said more Chinese investment in the United States and more American students studying in China and vice versa will greatly boost mutual understanding.
"In the long term, it is going to strengthen the US-China relations to where we work together to confront the global problems that we must work together to confront," he said.
"When I look at the horizon, I'm optimistic about US-China relations, I've seen the promised land," Orlins said.
Cheng Lei, Chinese deputy consul general in New York, said that international students in China are an important part of China's reform and opening up to the outside world.
China is now the third-largest destination for overseas students in the world.
In 2015, more than 390,000 international students were studying at Chinese colleges and universities — 21,975 from the United States.
In September 2015, President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to the United States. During his visit, Xi reached many agreements with President Barack Obama, of which people-to-people exchange is an important component.
Xi also announced that in the next three years, China would fund up to 50,000 students from the two countries to study in each other countries.
At the same time, Obama announced a goal of 1 million American students studying Chinese by 2020.
The Chinese government also has signed exchange-student agreements with many other countries and organizations.
"I believe that with the concerted efforts of all parties, the number of international students studying in China will reach its peak, which will definitely make a new contribution to world peace and friendship," Cheng said.
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