Former Basketball Player Yao Ming Headlines US-China Student Summit

Event Strengthens US-China Ties and Encourages US Study Abroad to China


SHANGHAI & WASHINGTON, DC – June 1, 2015 – The second annual US-China Student Summit was held this weekend, bringing together nearly 300 students from the US and China with a goal of strengthening long-term ties between the two nations.

“I am inspired by this large gathering of students from two countries that are very important to me—having lived, studied, and worked in both. Similar to my experience living overseas in the United States, cross-cultural student exchange enhances understanding and builds trust between China and the Unites States,” said Yao Ming, former basketball player and Founder of the Yao Foundation. “I commend the 100,000 Strong Foundation, the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center and WorldStrides for making this incredibly important investment to strengthen the US-China relationship.”

The students met for two days at Fudan University to learn about each other’s countries, the importance of the US-China relationship and the role they can play as global leaders. The Summit was co-hosted by the 100,000 Strong Foundation and WorldStrides.

“The friendships and cross-cultural understanding these students form today will pay dividends long into the future,” said Carola McGiffert, President and CEO of the 100,000 Strong Foundation. “The US-China relationship is the most important relationship of the 21st century. We must ensure that our next generation of leaders – including the students participating in the Summit – have the skills to compete, collaborate and succeed in a global economy; this means understanding China.”

As part of the Summit, students met with top Chinese and US government officials, business leaders, academic administrators, and cultural leaders. Such leaders included Yao Ming, Hanscom Smith (US Consul General in Shanghai), Gao Tian (Chairman of the Fudan University Youth Federation), and Kaiser Kuo (Executive at Baidu and Freelance Writer/Rock Musician).

Over the two days, students participated in interactive group activities, including discussions about communication styles, career development, study abroad opportunities, and global leadership. Students also participated in an interactive, collaborative problem-solving project that synthesized the overall themes and content of the Summit. The two-day Summit itself was the culmination of a nearly two-week long program in which the US students explored Beijing and Shanghai, meeting with business and government leaders, sightseeing and visiting schools.

“We’re thrilled by the success of the second Student Summit and incredibly pleased that so many students participated in this fantastic cultural exchange opportunity,” said WorldStrides China President Richard Lin. “We look forward to creating more opportunities to help students explore each other’s countries.”

The 100,000 Strong Foundation and WorldStrides’ shared mission is to enhance the US-China relationship through study abroad and Mandarin language learning. Together, they hope the Student Summit sparks greater interest among American students to travel to China and learn about the role they can play in strengthening ties between the two nations.


Media Contacts:

Travis Tanner, 100,000 Strong Foundation

Richard Lin, WorldStrides

About the 100,000 Strong Foundation:

The 100,000 Strong Foundation is a bi-partisan, independent non-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen US-China relations by expanding and diversifying Mandarin language learning and study abroad to China. The Foundation, which has been endorsed at the highest levels of both the US and Chinese governments, works to equip America’s next generation of leaders to effectively manage the US-China strategic relationship as well as prepare our future workforce to compete, collaborate and succeed in the global economy.

With high-level political support in both Washington and Beijing, the Foundation leverages its significant convening power to bring together influential policymakers and thought leaders on issues related to US-China relations. We lead a nationwide grassroots movement to dramatically expand Mandarin language learning in K-12 schools, working with state and local officials and deploying hundreds of 100,000 Strong Student Ambassadors to encourage their peers to study in China. Finally, the Foundation partners with private sector supporters to help send students with financial need and from diverse backgrounds to study in China. For more information, visit

About WorldStrides:

WorldStrides is the United States’ oldest and largest educational travel organization and an accredited educational travel school. Founded by a teacher in 1967, WorldStrides provides travel study opportunities for 300,000 students of all ages each year. WorldStrides partners with more than 200 universities annually to provide travel study opportunities to more than 90 countries around the world.

WorldStrides has more than 20 years of experience supporting students traveling to China, annually sending more than 2,200 people. With an office in China, a growing Chinese staff, and educational partnerships in many regions of China, WorldStrides has a growing place in the Chinese educational community.  WorldStrides is the exclusive educational travel partner of the 100,000 Strong Foundation.

WorldStrides maintains its own academic accreditation as part of a rigorous process of approval from accreditation bodies authorized by the U.S. Department of Education. The organization also partners with U.S. universities to offer college credit opportunities for students. For more information, visit