Profound message: Global youth inspired by Xi's reply letters to develop close bonds, share the future
Published: Oct 18, 2022 10:22 PM
Foreign students in Peking University read Xi's reply letter together in June 2021. Photo: Courtesy of Peking University

Foreign students in Peking University read Xi's reply letter together in June 2021. Photo: Courtesy of Peking University

Chinese people believe that letters are as valuable as gold. For thousands of years, letters, across mountains and oceans, have been delivering the writers' sentiments, friendship, and expectations.

During the past decade, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese president, has managed to find time to reply to some letters from ordinary people despite his busy work schedule.

Through his letters, Xi has also corresponded with international friends from all walks of life on numerous occasions, part of a series of excellent stories of China's international exchanges in the new era. The letters have also added vivid color to the diplomacy between China and other countries in the last decade.

Ahead of the 20th National Congress of the CPC and over the last few months, the Global Times reporters traced and contacted some of the recipients of Xi's letters, to hear their inspiring stories.

After sharing the first four stories in the previous issue, today we shall publish six other stories, inspired by letters sent from the Chinese president to young people around the world.

"In the future, I would like to stay in China and be part of its development. Because I am still curious about China's future and want to personally participate in the rapid development of China."
Andrea Dal Mas, a Italian graduate of Peking University

In the spring of 2021, ahead of the 100th founding anniversary of the CPC, 45 foreign student representatives from 32 countries at Peking University jointly wrote a letter to Xi.

In the letter, they wrote about their academic life at Peking University and their experience of living in China, sharing their observations on China's achievements in economic development, poverty alleviation, and other aspects.

Much to their surprise, a response letter from Xi arrived in June.

In his letter, Xi encouraged foreign students at Peking University to gain a deeper understanding of China as it really is, urging them to share their thoughts and experiences with more people and play an active role in promoting friendship between the peoples of all countries.

"To understand today's China, one must understand the CPC," Xi wrote in the letter. "The CPC is committed to these aims because it is a political party that strives for both the well-being of the Chinese people and human progress."

Andrea Dal Mas, one of the students, was impressed by Xi's words. Born in Italy, Mas moved to Beijing at 4 and grew up in China. 

"I have lived in China for so long and have truly experienced the CPC's contributions to the country. For instance, the CPC would formulate five-year plans and work toward the goals laid out, which bring people a sense of stability," he told the Global Times.

"Receiving President Xi's letter of reply is a great honor and the most impressive moment of my 12-year experience in China." 
Muhammad Arif Mughal, a PhD student at the University of Science and Technology Beijing

Arif was a PhD student at the University of Science and Technology Beijing in 2020. When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, the university tried hard and managed to send much-needed masks and other medical supplies to Arif and other Pakistani students when they were staying in Pakistan during holidays, making Arif feel "deeply moved."

Arif, as a gesture of gratitude, wrote a letter along with other 51 Pakistani students from the school to Xi to express their deep appreciation for the help, and elaborated on their enjoyable experience studying in China and their determination to make contributions to China-Pakistan friendship. 

Arif was extremely excited about receiving a letter of response from Xi on May 17, 2020. 

Xi, in his letter, encouraged the students to communicate more with their Chinese peers and join hands with youth from all countries to contribute to promoting people-to-people connectivity and building a community with a shared future for humanity.for mankind.

"As you have felt, since the COVID-19 epidemic broke out, the Chinese government and schools have always cared for the lives and health of foreign students studying in China, providing all-around help for them," Xi noted. 

While welcoming excellent youth from other countries to study in China, Xi encouraged them to learn more about the country, communicate more with their Chinese peers, and tell the world more about the China they see.

"To me, any international force that seriously supports those areas in a win-win approach can be a good opportunity to take. A friend who supports growing and improving your economy is a good friend."
Marcellina Chijoriga, principal of the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School

Rising stars of African politics and business are being nourished by the experience of China's development. The Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School in Tanzania is a party school opened earlier in 2022 for southern African countries.

After the first training workshop with the theme "New Development in the New Era" at the school, the participants wrote a letter "to thank Comrade Xi Jinping for facilitating the training," Chijoriga said.

Xi replied in June to the letter from the participants of the workshop.

In his letter, Xi said he is pleased to know that the workshop was successfully held, during which the participants discussed the important topics of what kind of development a ruling party should lead its country to pursue in the new era and how to pursue it, learned from each other, and gained a better understanding of such topics.

According to the principal of the school, a total of 120 trainees participated. Their average age was 41. There were 55 female and 65 male participants. There were 20 participants from each of the six countries: Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

"The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has created a boom in development and prosperity in Laos, bringing tangible benefits to people's well-being and therefore winning the heartfelt gratitude of the Lao students."
Bounmy Vilaisan, a retired principal at the China-Laos Nongping Primary School

Students at China-Laos Nongping Primary School in Laos Photo: Sun Guangyong/GT

Students at China-Laos Nongping Primary School in Laos Photo: Sun Guangyong/GT

In April 2019, Bounmy, together with several students, attended a sub-forum on people-to-people exchanges during the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, and presented Xi a letter and a picture album titled Our Silk Road Story to express their sincere gratitude for China's assistance in the construction of the school.

On April 29, 2019, Xi sent a letter of reply to the students, encouraging them to study hard and help promote friendship between the Chinese and Lao peoples, after receiving the letter and the picture album.

"Thank you for your letter and the fine picture albums. I can feel your happiness and your yearning for a better life. I am deeply moved," Xi said in the letter of reply.

"It was like a dream," said Bounmy. "It is unprecedented for Lao school children to write to the leader of a major country. It was so lucky to hear back from President Xi who cares so much about the children of Laos."

"Thanks to the close exchanges and cooperation between China and Papua New Guinea (PNG), more and more PNG youth, like me, are gaining a bigger platform for developing in their favorite fields."
Geoffrey Loi, a young PNG table tennis player

"Receiving President Xi's encouragement was one of the happiest and most honorable moments of my life." A letter received back from Xi addressed to Loi has given him a new goal: To contribute more to the friendship between China and PNG.

Loi told the Global Times that he thank China for its contribution to the development of PNG, among which a small table tennis ball has also become a bridge between the two countries. 

In September 2019, Loi wrote to Xi to extend his heartfelt gratitude for China's support for the table tennis popularity in PNG, and express his passion for Chinese culture and best wishes for better China-PNG relations. 

In the same month, Xi sent a letter of reply to Loi. In the letter, Xi recalled his visit to PNG in 2018, during which he watched Loi and his teammates train with their Chinese coach. Xi congratulated the PNG table tennis team on the good results they won in the Pacific Games, and wished Loi and the rest of the PNG team new successes.

Loi expressed his appreciation for China for funding the Butuka Academy which provides state-of-the-art gymnasium access to advanced facilities.

With the help of Chinese coaches, in July 2019, PNG table tennis team members won two silver medals at the Pacific Games, setting the best record in its history at the time.

"I will continue to make my contributions to promoting cross-cultural exchanges between Japanese and Chinese youths."
Nakashima Daichi, a Japanese youth who studied the Chinese language in college

Nakashima studied Chinese language and literature at college. He has, on multiple occasions, participated in China-related essay contests and visited China.

In 2019, he wrote a letter to Xi ahead of the Chinese leader's trip to Japan for the then-upcoming G20 summit in Osaka.

In his letter, Nakashima extended his greetings and best wishes to the Chinese president, and expressed his willingness to devote himself to the cause of China-Japan friendship.

Xi, in his reply in June 2019, said he is glad to see that Nakashima has been studying the Chinese language and literature for a long time and, by participating in essay contests and exchange activities in China, has learned more about China and strengthened his bonds with Chinese friends.

Xi said he hopes that the youth of China and Japan will strengthen exchanges and mutual learning, enhance mutual understanding, develop long-lasting friendships, and contribute to creating an even brighter future for bilateral relations.

As 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan relations, Nakashima said he hopes Japan and China can establish an exchange channel distinguishable from political and economic ones but focusing on the communication of ordinary people.