Leaders push to link schools
Updated: 2011-07-16 14:09
By Li Xing and Tan Yingzi (China Daily)
Yunnan Governor Qin Guangrong and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad chat at the sidelines of the China-US Governors Forum in Salt Lake City on Friday. Chen Bei / China Daily
SALT LAKE CITY Zhejiang provincial Party Secretary Zhao Hongzhu was pleasantly surprised Wednesday evening at the welcoming banquet hosted by Utah Governor Gary Herbert.
Zhao and Anhui Governor Wang Sanyun, Yunnan Governor Qin Guangrong and Qinghai governor Luo Huining had arrived in Salt Lake City to participate in the first China-US Governors Forum.
"I was moved that Governor Herbert carefully designed a feast of American cowboy culture," Zhao told the Chinese media on Friday, after the four Chinese heads of local governments convened for what they called a "fruitful" conference.
They were each presented with a cowboy hat and a bandanna during a barbecue dinner where two men dressed up like cowboys and entertained the crowd with country music, Zhao recalled.
But the next day at lunch, also hosted by Herbert, Zhao experienced a different type of cultural exchange. He was delighted to listen to a dozen American first-graders sing Chinese songs.
Enhancing cross-cultural communication, especially through educational exchanges, was one of the key subjects of discussion during the three-day forum and the meetings between the Chinese and American governors with state-province sister bonds.
"Exchanges between schools are a highlight in people-to-people exchanges between China and the United States," said Anhui governor Wang, who gave a keynote speech on education during the forum.
Wang stressed that the two countries must deepen cooperation between schools of higher education, especially in areas of scientific research and development, as long as intellectual rights are protected.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said that promoting educational exchanges not only enhances cross-cultural understanding but also opens up opportunities for the best minds to work together.
This will help create jobs and boost economic growth, Nixon said.
Earlier Wednesday, Qinghai Governor Luo and his Utah counterpart witnessed the signing of joint research and exchange Memorandums of Understanding between universities from the two regions.
The US remains one of the top destinations for Chinese students to pursue advanced degrees.
Wang said that some 20 schools of higher institutions in China have opened exchange programs with the University of Maryland and other US universities. Every year, more than 150 teachers come to the US for research and studies, while more than 500 students enroll in US universities.
China also draws its fair share of visitors, with more than 100 Americans coming to Anhui every year to teach, Wang said.
Wang noted that the number of US students in China keeps rising, especially since US President Barack Obama announced an initiative to encourage more than 100,000 American students to go to China.
(China Daily 07/16/2011 page3)
The first China-US Governors Forum is held July 15 in the Salt Lake City, the United States.
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