What is the US-China Strong Foundation?

The US-China Strong Foundation is a global nonprofit organization committed to strengthening US-China relations by investing in a new generation of leaders who have the knowledge and skill to engage with China. From kindergarten to adulthood, the Foundation creates opportunities for Americans of all backgrounds to learn Mandarin, study in China and pursue China-focused careers.

What does the foundation do?

  • Leads a high-profile national campaign to generate demand, promote diversity and encourage support for language and study abroad programs.
  • Collaborates with Washington and Beijing to engage high-level government support for study abroad in China.
  • Hosts an annual US-China conference focusing on the bilateral strategic relationship and linking policymakers and students in both countries.
  • Establishes a Washington, DC-based hub for US educational institutions to share best practices, leverage resources and expand Chinese programs.
  • Conducts independent studies and signature reports to examine the impact of study abroad in China on US competitiveness and US-China relations.
  • Implements the 1 Million Strong campaign to create greater opportunities for Mandarin language learning for US K-12 students across the country.
  • Continues to collaborate with both nations to expand and diversify US study abroad to China after surpassing its 100K Strong campaign goal in 2014.
  • Oversees an alumni network enabling young Americans and Chinese to leverage their cross-cultural experiences to further their academic and professional goals.

Why China?

China is the second-largest economy in the world, a major strategic power and the United States’ fastest-growing trade partner. The US-China relationship is the world’s most consequential, as virtually every global challenge requires these two nations to work together. We must invest in this critical partnership.

Who is involved?

The US-China Strong Foundation has the support of a wide range of high-level government officials, business executives, philanthropists, academics and students. It is governed by a 12-person Board of Directors. The management team includes a NY-based acting CEO who is supported by a small but dynamic team of dedicated staff. It also enjoys the support of an Academic Advisory Council and a Corporate Leadership Council, each comprised of prominent thought leaders from both countries.

What is the significance of US-China Strong?

The Foundation was recently renamed the US-China Strong Foundation to reflect its evolving and expanding mission. Previously, it was known at the 100,000 Strong Foundation, which was launched in 2013 by then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton with a mission to achieve the goals of President Obama’s original “100,000 Strong initiative:” to grow and diversify the number of students learning Mandarin and studying in China. While those goals remain central to US-China Strong, the Foundation is now focused more broadly on investing in a new generation of China-savvy Americans – one that has greater exposure to Chinese language, culture, business, history and politics.  

What role does the US government play?

US-China Strong is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that collaborates with students, academics, thought leaders and government officials from both the United States and China. Though launched in 2009 as a US State Department initiative, the Foundation in 2013 was formally established as an independent nonprofit organization. US-China Strong is not funded by the US government, but does work with US leaders and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to advance Mandarin language learning, China study abroad and US-China bilateral relations. 

What role does the Chinese government play?

The Chinese government shares the United States’ view that closer ties between our young people will enhance our understanding of one another, and China has been an active supporter and partner of US-China Strong. Under the auspices of the US-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE), the Chinese government has offered more than 30,000 scholarships for Americans to study in China. While the Foundation has no formal relationship with the Chinese government, it works closely with Chinese government officials to encourage Americans to take advantage of these scholarships. For more information about the scholarships, visit the Scholarships & Fellowships page.

Can I apply for a grant or scholarship through the Foundation?

The Foundation does not fund individual students who want to study in China, but we do work hand-in-hand with study abroad programs to raise awareness about opportunities for study abroad. Please see the Study Abroad Resources page for more information about US and Chinese government programs, as well as programs run by academic institutions and study abroad organizations.

Will the Foundation fundraise for individual academic institutions and study abroad programs?

No. Thousands of worthy organizations — both large and small — organize study abroad programs to China, and we cannot work with each one on an individual basis. It is our belief, however, that by creating a national movement in support of study abroad in China, we will generate greater demand for these programs and enable them to leverage our work to raise additional funds.

Will any of the funding that the Foundation receives go to study abroad programs?

Yes. Foundation donors will have the opportunity to earmark funds to one or more schools or study abroad programs. You can click the “donate” button at the top of this page or click here to give directly to the organization or to specific programs.