Peking University alumni celebrate in Houston

Updated: 2014-05-20 11:21

By May Zhou in Houston (China Daily USA)

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 Peking University alumni celebrate in Houston

Peking University Vice-President Chen Shiyi (left) and Chinese Consul General Li Qiangmin at the forum. May Zhou / China Daily

To celebrate their alma mater's 116th anniversary, the Peking University Alumni Association (PUAA) in Houston held the third Soluxe International Boya Forum on Ocean Energy and Economic Development at Rice University on Sunday. "Peking University (Beida) is in the process of establishing an institute for ocean research," said PUAA president Liu Zhiqiang. "This is why we picked this as our forum topic."

Chen Shiyi, vice-president of Beida, led a small delegation joining alumni in Houston for the occasion. VIP guests including Chinese Consul General Li Qiangmin, consul and director of the education office Zhang Yiqun, Rice President David Leebron and his wife and university representative Y. Ping Sun also attended the forum.

Li said that Houston as an energy city had a unique advantage in ocean engineering, and he believed the outstanding PU alumni in Houston would make a great contribution to the exchange in this field between China and the US.

Li also applauded Beida's plan to establish an ocean research body because strengthening China's capabilities in the ocean was part of the national development policy.

"Besides having 9.6 million square kilometers of land, we also have 3 million square kilometers of ocean that we should make good use of," Li said.

Leebron said he was happy that Rice was chosen as the venue for the event. He had visited Beida a couple of times, he said, and Rice had already established a research relationship with Beida in physics. "I am looking forward to more and deeper cooperation in the future," Leebron said.

A few distinguished speakers, most of them Beida alumni, shared their expertise with the audience. They included Guo Jinting, president of International Association of Ocean Engineers; Huang Xiaofeng, chairman of BJX LLC; Pan Qisheng, chairman of the department of urban planning and environmental policy at Texas Southern University; and Tang Mingyu, vice-president of Longyuan Power Canada.

They discussed the future and investment trends of ocean engineering, applications of new technology, the prospects for oceanic food farming and oceanic wind power.

Beida vice-president Chen Shiyi said he appreciated that Beida alumni in Houston had picked ocean engineering as the field in which to help their alma mater. He told the audience that as the number one university in China, Beida had always made it its mission to align its research with the direction of national policy and make strategic contributions to the nation.

That was why Beida had decided to establish an academy of ocean research when the Chinese central government made ocean development a national strategic policy a couple of years ago. Chen said the academy was close to being officially established, and Beida would integrate its resources and with support and cooperation from other institutes.

Li said there were about 1,000 Beida alumni in the Houston area and a lot of them worked in the medical and energy sectors and every year they contribute to the scholarship fund.