300×600
300×600

Chinese ambassador urges ‘right answers’ to questions critical to China-U.S. relations

ISLAMABD (PEN) : Chinese Ambassador to the United States Xie Feng  called for efforts to find the right answers to questions of how China and the United States can get along, how to clear obstacles to educational exchanges and how to renew the friendship between the two countries’ youth.

Xie said these three questions are critical to China-U.S. relations in the new era. He made the remarks at an event in celebration of the 45th anniversary of China-U.S. student exchanges and the 2024 Spring Festival Gala for Chinese and American youths.

Over the past 45 years, China-U.S. educational cooperation has “boomed rain or shine, leaving behind many beautiful stories, cultivating world-renowned scholars and leaders, and yielding research findings with far-reaching influence,” he said.

There are now nearly 290,000 Chinese students in the United States, accounting for about one-third of the total number of international students in the country, and China has been the largest source of international students in the United States for 15 consecutive years, according to the Chinese ambassador.

Educational cooperation has also built bridges for mutual understanding and affinity between Chinese and American peoples, he said.

To implement the initiative announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in San Francisco of inviting 50,000 young Americans to China on exchange and study programs in the next five years, China will set up a YES program – the Young Envoys Scholarship, and encourage diverse forms of cooperation, such as exchange programs between schools, short visits, summer schools and winter camps, said Xie.

“We welcome more young friends from the United States to see China with their own eyes, travel the expanse of the country with their own feet, and become the new generation of envoys of friendship between our two countries,” he said.

Politicizing or manipulating educational cooperation rejected

The Chinese ambassador called for the U.S. side to stop the groundless interrogation, harassment and repatriation of Chinese students.

Xie noted that the chilling effect of the “China Initiative” is still lingering on, and the state of Florida recently rolled out a new law blocking Chinese researchers from labs of public universities.

In addition, dozens of Chinese arriving in the United States, including students, were denied entry every month for the past few months, he said.

“They held valid visas, had no criminal records, and were returning to school after travelling elsewhere or reuniting with their family in China,” said Xie.

“But when they landed at the airport, what awaited them was 8-hour-long interrogation by officers, who prohibited them from contacting their parents, made groundless accusations against them, and even forcibly repatriated them and banned their entry.”

“This is absolutely unacceptable,” he said, adding that China will resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.

Politicizing and manipulating educational cooperation will not only prevent students from chasing their dreams and force them to change their life plans, but also drain the talent pool of the United States, poison its research environment and chill innovation, said Xie.

“If normal people-to-people exchanges are cut off, how can the two major countries maintain and develop their relations?” he asked.