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Xi calls on youth to promote Sino-US ties

By LINDA DENG in Seattle | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-08-22 09:42

Chinese president's reply to students' association's letter warmly welcomed

Ron Chow, a resident of Washington state and co-chairman of the US-China Youth and Student Exchange Association, had every reason to feel delighted recently, thanks to a letter. It was a reply from Chinese President Xi Jinping, conveyed by the Chinese Ambassador to the United States Xie Feng.

Xi had replied to the letter the association had written to him on July 25, expressing their warm wishes for the success of the FISU World University Games in Chengdu, Sichuan province, and updated Xi about the association's exchange programs after the pandemic.

In his reply, the Chinese president wrote, "As America's gateway to China and Asia, Washington State has carried out fruitful exchanges and cooperation with China over the years. My two visits to Washington State left me with beautiful memories. I recall vividly the wonderful performance by Lincoln High School students eight years ago, and cherish very much the football and jersey they gave me.

"I hope more young people from China and the US will get to know each other better, work hand in hand, and become a new generation of ambassadors of friendship to inject fresh impetus into the growth of China-US relations," he said in the letter.

Xi's letter also said he was pleased to learn about the updates and wished them greater progress.

Chow said he was "excited and honored to receive the letter". "Due to the pandemic, we had to stop many exchange programs. This letter provided us with great encouragement, and we look forward to more cooperative and interactive programs for youth exchanges between the US and China."

David Chong, founder and president of the US-China Youth and Student Exchange Association, now in Hong Kong, said he was extremely honored to receive the response from Xi.

"I am so excited that the association's efforts to promote youth and student exchanges between China and the US since 2015 have been recognized by President Xi. In the future, we hope to receive more support from the Chinese government in promoting exchanges in technology, academics, culture, sports, and more for youth and students in both countries," he said.

"This will allow more American youth and students to participate in our programs and help more American families to truly know and understand China," he added.

"I hope to apply what I've learned to practice and contribute to building a bridge of mutual learning and exchange between the US and China. I also hope to contribute to promoting cultural exchanges and fostering mutual trust between the two countries as a young ambassador," Chong said.

The association is now planning to establish its office in China to better promote bilateral exchanges.

In July, the association sent a high school teacher and five students from Steilacoom, Washington, and Millbrae in California to participate in the 17th Shanghai International Youth Interactive Friendship Camp.

Speaking with China Daily, Kathy Eastman, the teacher from Steilacoom High School who accompanied the students during the trip, said despite all of the duties the president has in running a country and preparing for the international games, he would still find the time to write to them.

Xi visited Washington State twice. In September 2015, he visited Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Washington. At the school auditorium, the president was captivated by songs from the Lincoln High School choir and students of Fuzhou Education College Affiliated Middle School.

The Chinese song was In the Fields of Hope, while the English song was What a Wonderful World.

One of the participating Lincoln High School students, Maurice Chong, is now pursuing higher studies at Peking University, and working with both Chinese and US youths on a tech project for the Hangzhou Asian Games, which will begin in late September.

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