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Experts Offer Advice on International People-to-People Exchange for Youth

By XINYI LI|Nov 20,2023

Chongqing - From November 15 to 17, Chongqing held the 2023 Educational Achievements Exhibition & Annual Conference of International People-to-People Exchange for Youth.

More than 370 attendees gathered at the event. (Photo/Li Xinyi)

This event thoroughly evaluates the approaches and avenues for cultural exchanges between Chinese and international youths, aiming to bolster the education, publicity, and actualization of cultural exchange concepts. It explores innovative models, experiences, and practices to expedite and broaden the horizons of educational openness globally.

The event establishes a platform fostering diverse participation, mutual learning, and collective growth by centering on cultural interactions between Chinese and international young people. This aligns with the overarching goals of enhancing the quality of education, supporting the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and contributing to developing a global community with a shared future for humanity. 

The conference attracted over 370 participants, including representatives from educational administrative departments, experts, school principals, and leaders of educational organizations from across China, all united in their interest in promoting cultural exchanges between China and other nations.

Spotlight on Chinese and international youth cultural exchange achievements at the event venue. (Photo/Li Xinyi)

Cao Diefeng, Deputy Director of the China-Foreign Humanities Exchange Center under the Ministry of Education, underscored the significance of cultural exchanges in his address. He highlighted that people-to-people and cultural exchanges are pivotal in bridging connections between individuals and facilitating the appreciation of diverse civilizations. These exchanges serve as a crucial conduit for fostering enhanced mutual understanding and trust among people from China and other countries. Cao expressed his aspiration that this event would act as a catalyst, inspiring a broader spectrum of companies and individuals to actively engage in and contribute to the cultural exchanges between China and the global community.

Ma Ranxi, Deputy Director-General of the Publicity Department of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee, articulated the significance of youth cultural exchanges as a vital component of international cultural interactions. He affirmed a commitment to fostering exchanges and mutual learning between global civilizations. Emphasizing the event’s importance, Ma regarded it as a highly impactful initiative, instrumental in advancing the construction of a global network for dialogue and cooperation among various civilizations.

Showcasing a collection of magazines at the event venue (Photo/Li Xinyi)

Qiao Jian, a second-level inspector at the Chongqing Municipal Education Commission, highlighted the emerging challenges faced in fostering exchanges, dialogue, and harmonious coexistence among diverse civilizations. Stressing the critical role of educational openness to the outside world, he acknowledged this event as a pivotal new platform. It aims to facilitate equitable dialogues among youths worldwide, focusing on humanities exchanges, mutual learning, and collective advancement.

Liu Xinzhong, Chairman of Open Class Magazines and Director of the Research Center of International People-to-People Exchange for Youth, captivated the audience with his keynote speech, “One World with Different Wonders.” In his address, Liu underscored the importance for young people to recognize and comprehend both the similarities and distinctions that exist in our diverse world. He elaborated on how advancements in science and technology, coupled with the momentum of economic globalization, have laid the groundwork for enriched cultural exchanges between Chinese and foreign youths.

Innovating global outreach in basic education

The 2023 Educational Achievements Exhibition & Annual Conference of International People-to-People Exchange for Youth encompasses a diverse array of components, including showcases of educational achievements, a primary forum, and multiple parallel forums. This multifaceted event delves deeply into innovative instances of cultural exchanges between Chinese and international youths, examines pivotal groups within the educational ecosystem, and more. 

Additionally, 16 esteemed guests and experts have been invited to impart their insights on pivotal themes during the main forum discussions.

Chinese and Foreign Youth Humanities Exchange Research Think Tank conducted in-depth school surveys aiming to observe varied educational scenarios, share exemplary experiences, and highlight model schools - Yew Chung International School of Chongqing (Photo/Open Class Magazines)

Chen Taowei, from the China-Foreign Humanities Exchange Center of the Ministry of Education, presented an enlightening discourse on the concept of cultural exchanges, including their policy evolution, significance, and effective implementation strategies. He also delineated eight major trends shaping the landscape of Sino-foreign cultural exchanges. His comprehensive overview offers valuable guidance and serves as a key reference for local governments and schools in fostering international educational collaboration and promoting cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries.

Tang Jiangpeng, from the Institute of Contemporary Education at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and the Chinese Society of Education (CSE), underscored the vital roles of critical thinking, hands-on experience, and practical application in his address. Advocating for transformative educational innovation, he called for substantial advancements across four key domains: humanities, science, engineering, and art. He poignantly noted, If education is confined merely to written tasks, it risks rendering the rich tapestry of our students’ humanistic and spiritual worlds colorless and barren.

The Global Teenagers Cross-Cultural Learning Program in Singapore, organized by Open Class Magazines (Photo/Open Class Magazines)

Dong Songshou, from the International Education Professional Committee of the Chinese Society of Educational Development Strategy, delved into the significant impact of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) on youth cultural exchanges between China and foreign nations. He elaborated that the policy of opening up education internationally and fostering cultural exchanges serves as dual pillars driving the high-quality advancement of China’s education sector. These elements are integral to the national strategy of empowering the nation through education, where they function in synergy, complementing and reinforcing each other.

Tian Xiangping, from the Chongqing Nankai Middle School, emphasized the importance of nurturing global competencies in education. He advocated for a concentrated effort on developing international competencies among young students, stressing the significance of building key academic disciplines. Tian underscored the necessity of providing ample opportunities for international exchanges and practical experiences and fostering a cadre of educators skilled in global perspectives to the mutual benefit of both teachers and students.

The Global Teenagers Cross-Cultural Learning Program in the United Kingdom, organized by Open Class Magazines (Photo/Open Class Magazines)

In his address, Zhang Dongsheng, from the International Education Branch of CSE, articulated the dual mission of introduction and going out for the new era. He defined “introduction” as integrating world-class educational resources and innovative elements and inviting students globally to study in China, thereby sharing China’s developmental experiences and accomplishments. Conversely, “going out” involves effectively communicating China’s narratives, disseminating its experiences, and amplifying its global voice, thereby augmenting Chinese education’s influence and authority on the world stage.


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