Clinton announces new foundation to expand students exchanges with China

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-1-25 8:46:19

US Secretary of States Hillary Clinton on Thursday announced the creation of the 100,000 Strong Foundation to expand opportunities for US students to learn Chinese and study in China.

The new foundation is a nonprofit organization housed at the American University in the capital, with the mission to strengthen the US-China strategic relationship through study abroad.

"I am happy today that we are launching a permanent, independent, nonprofit organization focused not only on our goal of 100,000 American students in China by 2014, but on strengthening the students exchanges for years to come," said US Secretary of States Hillary Clinton at the press conference.

Clinton noted that people-to-people exchanges will contribute to the "consequential relationship" between the United States and China, a relationship now with "the most pressing challenges and the most exciting opportunities."

With the government-to-government relations "obviously essential", she said people-to-people ties will "determine the quality of the relationship for the future."

The new foundation was borne out of the US State Department's 100,000 Strong Initiative that was announced by President Barack Obama in 2009 and launched by Clinton in 2010.

"We focused on students exchange because we believe that the future is very clearly in the hands of young people of both our countries," said Clinton. "And the more we can foster exchanges and understanding and mutual trust, that better off not only our countries' relationship will be, but also each of our countries individually."

Speaking at the press conference, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Zhang Yesui called the new foundation "a smart investment for the future."

He emphasized that Chinese government is a strong supporter of people-to-people exchanges with the United States and thus a strong supporter of the 100,000 initiative.

As it was announced two years ago, the Chinese government would offer 10,000 scholarships over four years for American students to study in China. "I am happy to report to you that up to now 6,535 American students have received scholarships from this program," said Zhang.

Carola Mcgiffert, president of the new foundation, said studying in China will be life-changing experience for American students, opening their "eyes and doors to the future" and providing them with skills to succeed in the global economy.

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