Third U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange
On May 4, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong hailed the importance of people-to-people engagement during the third annual U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE). The CPE aims to enhance and strengthen ties between the citizens of the United States and China in the areas of education, science and technology, sports, culture, and women’s issues. Secretary Clinton announced a number of new initiatives supporting the goals of the CPE and institutionalizing gains made over the last three years.
Education: The U.S. government sends more students to study in China than to any other country. The robust educational relationship between the U.S. and China is one of our most important worldwide and is helping to build a stronger foundation for our overall bilateral relationship. During this year’s CPE, the two governments agreed to enhance support for the binational U.S.-China Fulbright Program, double the new Fulbright M.A. Program for Chinese students, triple Fulbright Critical Language Enhancement Awards for American Fulbrighters to study Chinese, and welcome the first U.S. Distinguished Chair for a highly qualified American professor to teach in China this fall.
The 100,000 Strong Initiative: The 100,000 Strong Initiative, which seeks to increase the number and diversity of Americans studying in China, has received pledges of over $15 million from private donors since its inception in 2010. The Chinese government has also previously offered 20,000 scholarships for Americans studying in China in support of the Initiative. During the CPE, Secretary Clinton announced that the Ford Foundation will independently provide $1 million in seed funding to stand up a private non-profit that will promote and perpetuate the goals of 100,000 Strong. She also issued a call to action to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to double the number of their students who study in China.
Cooperative Activities: The U.S. Department of Education and the Chinese Ministry of Education are expanding cooperative activities, including a new U.S.-China State-Province Chief Education Officer Dialogue, which met for the first time during this year’s CPE in Beijing, with senior U.S. education officials from California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Also, under a Joint Work Plan between the two ministries, a new Education Development Forum will include meetings this year of science teaching experts and experts in vocational education. The U.S. Peace Corps and its Chinese partners agreed to build on the positive contributions of the U.S.-China Friendship Volunteers, which will celebrate their 20th anniversary next year.
- University Partnerships: The CPE highlighted growing cooperation between the Chinese and American higher education communities, including in establishing new partnerships for teaching and research, and for language learning and culture, such as the partnership between Arizona State University and Sichuan University. The American Association of Community Colleges and the China Education Association for International Exchange signed a Statement of Intent to strengthen their cooperation, and EducationUSA announced its support for a delegation of higher education association representatives visiting China during International Education Week in November 2012.
Science and Technology: Collaboration in science and technology is an important and dynamic area in the bilateral relationship, dating back to the 1979 U.S.-China Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement, one of the first bilateral agreements between the U.S. and China. The U.S. and China are using a variety of tools to enhance public dialogue on science in order to expand mutual understanding, educate the public on the role of science in society and explore issues of interest to young scientists.
Young Scientist Forum: During this year’s CPE, the U.S. and China announced their intention to formalize the Young Scientist Forum as an annual event building upon the success of the inaugural event in 2011. This forum brings together young scientists to discuss issues of mutual interest such as mentoring, networking, work/life balance, and sustaining international research. Later this year, the two countries will also sponsor a delegation of young Chinese scientists to visit U.S. universities and organizations to encourage careers in science. In order to expand the scope and reach of these activities, the two sides will explore innovative technologies to link young scientists through a “global classroom” to build mutual understanding and encourage greater cooperation to confront global scientific challenges.
- Science and Technology in Society: Building upon the productive visit of Chinese museum professionals to the U.S. sponsored by the Association of Science and Technology Centers in 2011, the two countries agreed to strengthen efforts to enhance public understanding of the role of science in society through science museum education outreach programs.
Sports: Forty years ago, “ping pong diplomacy” paved the way for the establishment of relations between the U.S. and China. Since then, sports have continued to play an important role in bringing our people together. Sports receives high-level attention in both nations and continues to build positive people-to-people engagement.
Empowering Women and Girls through Sports: In cooperation with the WNBA and the WCBA, the State Department’s SportsUnited office will send three basketball envoys to northeastern China in June 2012 to help grow the game of women’s basketball. The U.S. will welcome a group of high school-aged girls on a volleyball-based Sports Visitor exchange program during the NCAA Women’s Final Four Volleyball tournament. The U.S. and Chinese Olympic Committees are also supporting a soccer game between the Chinese women’s national team and the U.S. women’s national team in Pennsylvania on May 27, 2012.
Exchange and Cooperation in the Sport of Basketball: The Chinese women’s national basketball team is currently touring the U.S. on a trip that includes scrimmages with the WNBA’s LA Sparks and Seattle Storm. Also, the NBA and CBA will continue to build on their successful two-way coaching programs which send U.S. coaches to China and Chinese coaches to the U.S.
Disability Sports Exchange: Building on the success of a recent disability sport program in Guangzhou, the State Department will send disability envoys to Guangzhou to share best practices in the field. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), the Chinese General Administration of Sport and the China Disabled Persons Federation will develop the program together.
Physical Education Teachers Exchange: The State Department will invite ten physical education teachers on a sports exchange program to the U.S. in October 2012 with the help of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sport, and Nutrition.
- Community Outreach through Sport: The Chinese side will send instructors to the U.S. in both Wushu, a Chinese martial art, and Qigong, a Chinese form of meditation and exercise, from June through December. The National Football League and the Chinese Rugby Association are working together to support the development of American football in colleges and universities in China. The Chinese and American sides are also exploring programming for youth in the realm of action sports.
Culture: Since the establishment of bilateral relations, culture has played an important role in people-to-people engagement between the U.S. and China. The culture working group agreed to continue collaboration in arts exchanges, building connections that transcend language barriers:
Bilateral Cultural Agreement:The U.S.-China Cultural Implementing Accord for 2012-2014 was renewed on May 4 at the National Museum. The agreement underscores the mutual U.S.-China commitment to encourage further cultural cooperation and people-to-people exchanges between our countries.
Institute of Museum and Library Services Agreement: The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Ministry of Culture was renewed to extend until 2014. The MOU promotes professional exchanges that enhance museum, library, archival, and information services with the U.S. and China.
Outreach to Young Audiences: ECA will support exchange programs to engage youth, including a DanceMotion USA program that will send the contemporary dance company the Trey McIntyre Project to China later this month; an American Music Abroad program that will send Americana folk trio Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer with Barbara Lamb to China in January 2013 to collaborate with youth and musicians; a University of Iowa International Writing Program Life of Discovery project that will send four American writers to work with four writers in the Chinese Writers Association in China this summer; and an American Film Showcase program that will share outstanding films and filmmakers with audiences in the Shanghai and Guangzhou areas during the upcoming season.
Support of Professional Exchange Programs: Through ECA’s International Visitor Leadership Program, Chinese museum management professionals will meet with U.S. counterparts to share management best practices and expertise.
- Encourage Existing and Expanding Private Sector Partners: Upcoming and potential programs discussed by private sector participants include the Philadelphia Orchestra’s one-year pilot program with the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation’s potential presentation of the “American Founding Father: Thomas Jefferson” exhibit in China, the Meridian International Center’s continuing work on the public-private American Chinese Cultural Initiative, and the Asia Society’s plans for a second U.S.-China Forum on the Arts and Culture.
Women: The U.S.-China Women’s Leadership Exchange and Dialogue (“Women LEAD”), lead by the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (GWI) and the All China Women’s Federation (ACWF), was launched by Secretary Clinton and State Councilor Liu in April 2011. This dialogue facilitates and promotes exchanges between women leaders of both countries and has convened dialogues concerning work and family issues, employment rights, and philanthropy. The U.S. and China agreed to co-host a side event on “Women and Sustainable Development” at the UN Commission on the Status of Women and approved the following activities:
Future Bilateral Dialogues and Exchanges: The two sides agreed to at least two annual exchanges – one in the U.S. and one in China. ACWF Vice President Meng Xiaosi will lead a delegation of young women leaders to Washington, D.C. to attend the fifth Women-LEAD dialogue. Building on existing collaborations regarding women and sustainable development, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer and Madame Meng will also embark on a joint tour through China examining how clean cookstoves can help improve women’s health and the environment and explore ways to ensure women are fully-integrated into sustainable development policies.
Breast Cancer Awareness: The Goldman Sachs Group and Susan G. Komen for the Cure will bring a delegation drawn from the ACWF and Chinese public health experts to the U.S. in June for a week-long breast cancer awareness campaign. In fall 2012, Goldman Sachs and Komen will bring a second delegation from the Chinese Ministry of Health. These exchanges will be held under the auspices of the public-private partnership between ACWF, Goldman Sachs, and Komen that was catalyzed by the U.S.-China Women-LEAD initiative and announced at the 2nd Women-LEAD dialogue in Beijing in November 2011.
- Women and Philanthropy. In 2013, Mount Holyoke College will host a professional development program on women and philanthropy. The program will offer women working in Chinese non-governmental and philanthropic organizations the opportunity to strengthen their leadership and management skills and develop more effective programs to benefit women and girls. Beijing Normal University’s China Philanthropy Research Institute will bring delegations to the U.S. to explore how to better match international resources focused on empowering women's participation in philanthropy in China. The ACWF and Department of State will facilitate both programs.