By Zhao Xinying (chinadaily.com.cn)

The 100,000 Strong initiative, originally launched to increase the number of US students studying in China to 100,000 over a four-year period from 2010 to 2014, will continue beyond 2014 and become a long-term program, according to Travis Tanner, vice-chairman of the 100,000 Strong Initiative Foundation.

“The whole point of establishing the initiative is that it will go beyond 2014. I think 100,000 Strong will become a symbolic of effort to increase the number of American students studying in China,” Tanner said in an interview in Beijing on Thursday.

“You can see in our materials that the figure 100 is printed in infinity sign and that’s the symbolic as we want to make sure that not just 100,000 students, but many many more students beyond that is the goal.”

The 100,000 Strong Initiative Foundation, a non-profit independent organization based in Washington, was established to strengthen the US-China relationship by sending US students to study in China.

Tanner said the foundation has raised $15 million and the Chinese government has responded very enthusiastically and offered 20,000 scholarships to support US students.

He also said they were very encouraged to see that the number of American students studying in China is increasing.

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