Summer camps for overseas Chinese youth help promote CPC’s image abroad

By Zhang Hui Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/11 18:43:41

Pictured is young participants at the Chinese Root-Seeking Tour Summer Camp in Qianshan county, East China's Jiangxi Province in August 2017. About 900 overseas Chinese students participated in the event. Photo: IC



Summer camps for overseas Chinese youth organized by the overseas Chinese affairs authorities have recently kicked off in many provinces, with tens of thousands of participants learning Chinese traditional culture and history for around two weeks.

Chinese analysts believe that the summer camps satisfy the need of overseas Chinese to discover and learn about their ancestors and ancestral homes, and enhance a common sense of Chinese tradition and culture.

More importantly, the camps may further boost overseas Chinese's understanding of China as well as the Communist Party of China (CPC), which may help promote the image of the Party abroad, analysts noted.

There were about 50 million overseas Chinese as of 2014, according to a report issued by Center for China and Globalization (CCG).

Find Your Roots

The Chinese Root-Seeking Tour Summer Camp, organized by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, debuted in 1999 with the purpose of improving overseas Chinese youth's understanding of their ancestral homes, and boosting their interest in learning Chinese language and culture, according to the official WeChat account of the camp.

There are also spring, autumn and winter camps for overseas Chinese students, which usually last for two to three weeks.

Overseas Chinese students can learn basic knowledge about Chinese history, geography, culture, martial arts and folk dances, visit scenic spots and communicate with Chinese students.

An employee from the Quanzhou Overseas Chinese Affairs Office in East China's Fujian Province surnamed Xu told the Global Times that the office will organize a summer camp for 40 participants in August. Their previous camps took overseas Chinese youth to learn about local Fujian and classical Chinese traditional culture including martial arts.

"We were fully booked in our previous camps," Xu said.

Huang Fengqiong, leader of a Chinese Root-Seeking Tour Summer Camp in Luojiang district of Quanzhou, Fujian Province, told the news site chinanews.com that her members love the courses in the camp, and they could feel the Chinese mainland's development in various fields.

The camp Huang is attending has a total of 58 members from the US and Taiwan. The 10-day summer camp started from Monday, and teaches the Chinese traditions of martial arts and dragon dancing. The campers will also go sightseeing to local traditional buildings.

Similar summer camps were also recently kicked off in Northwest China's Qinghai Province, East China's Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces.


Joining hands

Experts believe that such camps can also serve as part of the CPC's united front work to unite overseas Chinese. 

News of various cultural exchanges featuring summer camps attended by overseas Chinese can be found on the website of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee.

The department has listed 12 types of groups as part of its united front work, including overseas Chinese and people from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, according to a work regulation released by the department in 2015, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

"Such activities, if carried out effectively, could enhance overseas Chinese youth's understanding and acknowledgment of the CPC, and promote a positive image of the CPC abroad," Zhi Zhenfeng, associate research fellow at the Institute of Law with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

Su Wei, a professor at the Communist Party of China Chongqing Committee's Party School, told the Global Times that such camps satisfied a spiritual longing of overseas Chinese who have the desire to find their ancestors, and it's possible that they could later become supporters of China's political system after viewing China's rapid development.

"It's also worth noting that China would not use these activities to affect the political system of other countries, as some countries speculated," Su said.

China's united front work among overseas Chinese is conducted in line with international conventions, and China has been adhering to the principles of openness, following the law and reciprocal benefits, Zhang Yijiong, executive vice-minister of The United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee, said on the sidelines of the 19th CPC National Congress in 2017, according to chinanews.com.


Newspaper headline: Seeking roots


Posted in: SOCIETY,CHINA FOCUS

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