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President Dou Xiankang presents at the U.S.-China University Presidents and Think Tank Forum
Author:Office of International Affairs  Date:2017-10-10  Clicks:

In the morning of Sep 26, the “U.S.–China. University President and Think Tank Forum”, as a significant component of the US-China Social and Cultural Dialogue mechanism, were held at Columbia University in the City of New York.

Vice Premier Liu Yandong delivered his keynote speech at the forum. On the Chinese side—Chen Baosheng, minister of education; Luo Shugang, minister of culture; Li Bin, director of the National Family Planning Commission; Cui Tiankai, Chinese ambassador to the United States; Jiang Xiaojuan, deputy secretary-general of the state council; Zheng Zeguang, vice foreign minister; Tian Xuejun, vice education minister; Yu Weiping, vice finance minister; Wang Hongyan, vice president of China's National Youth Administration; Zhang Qiyue, Chinese consul-general in New York—and on the U.S. side—Henry A. Kissinger, former U.S. secretary of state and national security advisor; Robert Zimmer, president of the University of Chicago; Peter Salovey, president of Yale University; John I. Jenkins, president of Notre Dame University; Maurice R. Greenberg, former chairman and CEO of American International Group; Darren Walker, president of Ford Foundation—were present at the forum. Additionally, more than 40 university presidents from China and the U.S. and more than 200 business and think tank forum representatives were present at the conference. WHU President Dou Xiankang also addressed the attendees.

During the opening ceremony, Liu Yandong gave a warm keynote speech. She recalled the days of being invited to visit the U.S. as the chairman of the Youth Federation 33 years ago. In terms of looking forward to the future, and building the cornerstone of China-U.S. cultural communication, she suggested to start from the following three areas: Firstly, we should expand the coverage area of China-U.S. cultural communication fields by focusing on the grassroots. The governments of China and the U.S. should provide political protection and mechanism guarantee as well as offer financial and material support to promote the expansion of cultural exchanges into provinces, cities and communities in order to enable it to enter everyday people's homes, to help facilitate a sense of friendship between China and the U.S. that is proliferated through the masses. Secondly, we should enhance the sense of achievement during China-U.S. social and cultural communications by emphasizing the boom in the livelihood of people. The two nations should support universities, think tanks and various professional institutions on fields like technology, culture and health to conduct win-win cooperation by making use of each other's advantages. Both sides should strengthen global cooperation, explore new ways of jointly aiding third parties, and cope with the common challenges of human beings together. Thirdly, we should understand that the foundation of increasing the influence of China-U.S. cultural exchange is the connection between people's minds. Both sides should start from the big picture of China-U.S. relations to promote the communication of crucial areas and institutionalize them. It is important to lead the people of these two nations to carry out conversation in an equal, comprehensive and sincere way; and to treat each other with appreciation while learning and sharing theory in order to create a better future for China-U.S. relations together.

Dr. Kissinger addressed the keynote speech by recalling his conversation with premier Zhou Enlai when he first visited China when he was 48. He said that China was a myth to him at that time; however, as he traveled nearly hundred times between China and the U.S., China has accomplished far beyond his imagination up till now. Recently, the One Belt, One Road scheme put forward by China has a deep meaning in signifying the connection between China, Middle Asia and Europe. The previous 9 presidents of the U.S. chose to build a cooperative partnership with China, which laid the foundation for the development of the relationship between the U.S. and China. In the future, the leaders of the two nations should adhere to conduct dialogue and cooperation in order to tackle challenges together.

During the afternoon forum, presidents and professionals conducted discussion on four issues which includesThe Next 50 Years: Proposals in Tailoring Mutual Trust and Benefits” and “Deepen the exploration of China-U.S. social and cultural communication mechanism.”

Dou Xiankang proposed his opinion by pointing out that China and the U.S. should expand the depth and width of the joint cultivation of talents by using youth as a band. He pointed out that trust, understanding and communication among youth is pivotal to the stable development of China-U.S. relations over the next 50 years. He suggested that the universities of both sides should expand the scale of bilateral students exchanges and work on finding new modes of talents cultivation.

Before the opening ceremony of the forum, Liu Yandong and Chen Baosheng, Minister of Education met the presidents of universities and scholars of the think tanks who presented at the meeting and took group photos with them.


Rewritten by Li Minjia

Edited by Zheng Yayun, Edmund Wai Man Lai & Hu Sijia


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