1 Million Strong


Growing US Mandarin Language Learning to 1 Million by 2020


1 Million Strong seeks to expand to 1 million the number of US K-12 students learning Mandarin by 2020. The increase will be fivefold: currently, approximately 200,000 K-12 students are learning Mandarin in the United States.

Announced in 2015 by Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping, the goal of 1 Million Strong is to grow the next generation of leaders who have a deeper understanding of China by creating a pipeline of China-savvy employees in a range of critical industries, and ensuring that US students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to gain China-related skills. The campaign’s three pillars include:

  • Endorsing widely-accepted Mandarin curricular norms at the K-12 level.
  • Increasing by more than double the number of Mandarin language teachers in the United States through expanded teacher training and teacher certification.
  • Engaging technology platforms to ensure the accessibility of Mandarin language learning, particularly in underserved communities around the country.

1 Million Strong is the second presidential initiative led by the US-China Strong Foundation, building on 100K Strong, President Obama’s effort to dramatically expand US study abroad to China. The president’s initial goal of seeing 100,000 Americans study in China by 2014 was not only achieved, but also surpassed.

To make 1 Million Strong a reality, US-China Strong is working with a bipartisan coalition of governors, mayors and school superintendents across the country, as well as with education and technology leaders. Led by a steering committee of experts, a task force assists the Foundation in identifying implementation partners and offering creative solutions to reaching the 1 million student goal. Click here to view the steering committee and task force.


1 Million Strong Implementation Partners

  • Curriculum 
    • Better Chinese
    • National Council of State Supervisors for Languages (NCSSFL)
    • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
  • Teacher Training
    • University of Maryland
    • NCSSFL
    • ACTFL
  • Technology Platform
    • Mandarin Matrix
    • VIPKID
    • University of Oregon’s Center for Applied Second Language Studies