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100,000 Strong Newsletter: September 2011

Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
September 29, 2011


September 2011

Date: 09/29/2011 Description: Vice President Biden shares a moment with students at Sichuan University. © White House Image

Message from the Director

Here are some highlights from an unusually busy August:

  • Vice President Joe Biden promoted the 100,000 Strong Initiative during his recent trip to Beijing and Chengdu. Here is a link to his speech at Sichuan University.
  • Wanxiang America Corporation announced a $1.5 million, five-year grant to Northwestern University to send students to China for summer programs to study Mandarin and engage in green technology projects in Hangzhou. See press clips below.
  • We continue to work with the organizers of the Beijing concert, featuring of The Black Eyed Peas, to ensure that this major event is a huge success. serves as a cultural ambassador for the State Department, and can be seen here talking about the 100,000 Strong Initiative and growing closer educational and cultural ties internationally.
  • Keep an eye out for details about an upcoming documentary which follows three students from DC public schools on their summer program in China. Here is a trailer of the movie, which we plan to preview later this year:

We expect an equally busy fall as momentum for 100,000 Strong continues to grow.

- Carola McGiffert

Carola McGiffert is Director of the 100,000 Strong Initiative and Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Please email your stories to Don't forget to visit to connect with young Americans who have studied in China!


Citing the strategic importance of the U.S.-China relationship, in November 2009, President Barack Obama announced his goal of seeing 100,000 Americans study in China over four years. This represents a significant increase over current numbers and signals a major investment in the future of U.S.-China relations. In addition, a central objective of the Initiative is to expand opportunities to study abroad in China to underrepresented groups, including students from high schools, community colleges and minority-serving institutions.

The Initiative was officially launched in May 2010 by Secretary Hillary Clinton and is strongly supported by the Chinese government. In January 2011, on the occasion of the state visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to Washington, the two nations reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing people-to-people engagement through educational exchanges.


JUL 2011:, of The BlackEyed Peas, met with Secretary Clinton to discuss his support for 100,000 Strong

JUL 2011: APSA announces 1x1 Beijing Concert in support of 100,000 Strong and the release of their new student run blog.

JUN 2011: NAFSA blog highlight on the 100,000 Strong Initiative

MAY 2011: Secretary Clinton's Remarks at the 100,000 Strong Advisory Committee Meeting

NEW!MAY 2011: Fact Sheet on the 100,000 Strong Advisory Committee

APR 2011: Secretary Clinton's Remarks at the US-China Consultation for People-to-People Exchange

APR 2011: US-China CPE Cooperation on 100,000 Strong

FEB 2011: Secretary Clinton's HBCU Foreign Policy Briefing Remarks

OCT 2010: Secretary Clinton's Honolulu Remarks

MAY 2010: Secretary Clinton's Remarks at Signing Ceremony

NOV 2009: President Obama Announcement of 100,000 Strong

LINKS Information Page

CSIS US-China Policy Advisory Roundtable Podcast

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

IIE OpenDoors 2010 Report


Wanxiang America Corporation Funds New Program at Northwestern University
Students Will Study Green Technology in China

Date: 09/29/2011 Description: Wanxiang America Corporation Funds New Program at Northwestern University - State Dept Image

As part of the 100,000 Strong Inititative, for the next 5 years, a group of 12 to 20 Northwestern University graduate and undergraduate students per year will travel to China to study the development of clean energy technologies. This program is being made possible thanks to the generous gift of $1.5 million from Wanxiang America Corporation. The agreement signing was attended by Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Chicago, Guoqiang Yang, Pres ident of Wanxiang America Corporation, Pin Ni, and Northwestern University President, Morton Schapiro, as well as key faculty memebers and Former Mayor of Chicago, Richard Daley.

Date: 09/29/2011 Description: Wanxiang America Corporation Funds New Program at Northwestern University - State Dept Image

During their one-month stay in Beijing, Wanxiang Fellows are required to take on extensive Chinese language training and take courses on environmental issues in China. They will also be required to paritcipate in cultural and historical research. During their stay in Hangzhou (in eastern Zhejiang province), they will visit Wanxiang' s labs, solar power station, electric car factory, and energy storage station.

Date: 09/29/2011 Description: Emily Wright, one of the first Northwestern students to participate in green study
abroad. - State Dept Image“The Wanxiang Fellows Program will provide Northwestern students valuable experience in China while exposing them to new technologies in a growing area of the world,” said Mark Ratner, the Morrison Professor of Chemistry and the co-director of the Initiative for the Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN). “We very much appreciate the generous commitment of Wanxiang that will enable us to launch this new program.” More details on the agreement and the construction of the program can be fo und here.

Emily Wright, one of the first Northwestern students to participate in green study abroad.

Gallaudet University Students join the 100,000 Strong Initiative

Date: 09/29/2011 Description: Gallaudet and Beijing Union University representatives meet with President Hurwitz during a visit to Gallaudet and the D.C. area. - State Dept Image
Gallaudet and Beijing Union University representatives meet with President Hurwitz during a visit to Gallaudet and the D.C. area.

Gallaudet University has joined the 100,000 Strong Iniatiative. During First Lady Michelle Obama’s address at Howard University, 23 of the students in attendance were from Gallaudet University. Those students and faculty members heard her call to prepare young people to succeed in the modern global economy through international travel and were driven to act. Undergraduate Rian Norris called it a reaffirming, "I have been given the capability to do anything I want," kind of experience. The speech reminded students to take advantage of the opportunities that come their way. "It seems that we easily isolate and place limitations on ourselves," said Norris. The 100,000 Strong Initiative was launched to facilitate for more American students to study in China. Initiative leaders hope that students will no longer feel limited and take advantage of the increasing number of opportunities to study abroad and build relationships in China.

Date: 09/29/2011 Description: Representatives of Beijing Union University (BUU) meet with Gallaudet staff members. - State Dept Image

"[Michelle Obama] gives me a big dream, which is to establish a sister deaf school relationship between China and America, and to become an international deaf ambassador," said Jiayi Zhou, a graduate student in the International Development Program. "I believe with the 100,000 Strong [Initiative], we deaf people can build a better international deaf community."

Keeping in the spirit of the 100,000 Strong Initiative and bringing the message close to home, Gallaudet hosted a delegation from the Beijing Union University (BUU) from January 16th to the 20th . Reedy Hines was moved by China's strong desire to provide educational opportunities for its deaf and hard of hearing students and hopes to form a lasting partnership between the two universities.

Dr. Asiah Mason, director of the Center for International Programs and Services, adding that deaf students are often underrepresented in study abroad programs at other universities, stated, "We are going to remain actively engaged with the leaders of the 100,000 Strong Initiative and will work hard to get our students funding to participate in the 100,000 Strong Initiative."


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