Address from the Inaugural Conference of the 100,000 Strong Foundation — “Investing in U.S.-China Relations, One Student at a Time”
Madame LIU Yandong
21 November 2013
Thank you Secretary Kerry, Foundation President Carola McGiffert,
Ladies, gentlemen, and friends good morning!
I am very pleased to attend the inaugural conference of the 100,000 Strong Foundation among friends here today! Since President Obama first announced the 100,000 Strong Initiative in 2009, approximately 68,000 Americans have gone to study abroad in China. The initiative has borne fruit for China-US people-to-people exchange. The establishment of the 100,000 Strong Foundation has provided not only a new pathway but also fresh drive for implementing the initiative and deepening people-to-people exchanges. I would like to express my admiration for the visionary and creative people driving this initiative. I sincerely appreciate all the contributions made toward strengthening China-US people-to-people exchange.
Today on China’s college campuses, one can meet an increasing number of young Americans studying under the initiative, whose progress amazes us. Together with their Chinese counterparts, they form a new force dedicated to developing a closer friendship between our two peoples. I see in them the limitless vigor of youth and infinite charm.
This visit is in part to implement the important agreement reached between our two presidents and facilitate the first China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) since the leadership changes in both governments. The central theme is “Youth and Innovation.” We already announced the China-US Young Politicians Program that will be launched in 2014. We will also further promote the China-US Student Ambassadors Program and will initiate the China-US Young Entrepreneurs Social Creativity Program. We believe all of these programs will broaden the channels for China-US communication.
Ladies and gentlemen, the seeds of friendship are most likely to take root in our young peoples’ minds. New vigor and vitality will continue to permeate China-US relations, as more and more young people get involved in China-US people-to-people exchange. We should move forward with a holistic understanding of China-US relations, and flow with the tide of our time. We should promote bilateral understanding in our youth, with mutual respect and trust in order to establish a new model of great power relations between China and the US, forging together a better future.
First, we must look to the future. We must embed youth exchange more deeply into China-US relations through broadening channels of communication and building new forms and levels of exchange.
Second, we must strengthen our leadership. We must encourage more young students to study abroad in the one another’s nations. The Chinese government not only encourages our young people to study abroad, we also welcome young Americans to study in China.
Third, we must pool our collective strength. We must empower more people to support and participate in China-US people-to-people exchange.
The China-US friendship is rooted in our people and our hopes and aspirations embodied by our young people. I noticed that the title of the conference today is “Investing in US-China Relations, One Student at a Time.” Indeed, investing in our youth is investing in the future. I call upon all those who value China-US relations, all those who care about our young people, from all walks of life, to work together so that the Sino-American partnership may rest in good hands, so that the torch may pass securely from one generation to the next. History will prove that our efforts here today for youth exchange between our two countries will, without a doubt, become the most valuable resource for the future of China-US relations.
 Unofficial translation, courtesy of Dr. WU Xiangning (吴湘宁) of Peking University. Original text accessible at: http://www.moe.gov.cn/publicfiles/business/htmlfiles/moe/moe_176/201312/160373.html.