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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton hailed the importance of U.S.-China people-to-people engagement at the inaugural meeting of the Advisory Committee on the 100,000 Strong Initiative held May 10, 2011, on the occasion of the third meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) in Washington, DC.
The Committee was officially announced during the April 2011 U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE). At the CPE, Secretary Clinton and State Councilor Liu Yandong announced an additional 10,000 Chinese scholarships and new pledges from the U.S. private sector. Since January 2011, more than $7 million has been pledged in support of the Initiative. This money will go directly to schools and study abroad programs towards the goal of seeing 100,000 Americans study in China over four years.
The Committee, co-chaired by Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago and former Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, serves a critical role advising on the promotion and implementation of the 100,000 Strong Initiative in the private sector, and is comprised of China experts and leaders in the business, academic, and non-profit worlds. Developments announced at the Committee meeting include:
Launch of “Project Pengyou”: In support of the Initiative and with seed funding from the Ford Foundation, Golden Bridges Foundation has launched a new online platform to connect Americans that lived and studied in China. The independent website, called Project Pengyou, will serve as a catalyst for the Initiative. www.projectpengyou.com
Launch of “Zinch Study in China”: Zinch, a private U.S. information management company with operations in China, has launched an independent website for American students looking to study in China. The free website includes a database of major programs for learning Chinese in China, reviews from recent students, and expert advice, as well as online information about volunteer opportunities and internships. www.zinch.com/studyinchina
Travel Grants through the U.S.-China Education Trust (USCET): USCET has announced that it received an additional $100,000 grant in support of the Initiative from Van Eck Global. This is the second grant that USCET has received from Van Eck Global to support student travel to China.
Expansion of Teach for China: Teach for China has independently received $450,000 in new funding from Swire Trust to support the organization’s work in low-income Chinese schools in support of the Initiative.
Designation of White House Fellows as 100,000 Strong ambassadors: This year’s class of White House Fellows will travel to China in May 2011, where they will serve as ambassadors for the Initiative by promoting people-to-people ties between the United States and China. Founded in 1964, the White House Fellows program offers exceptional young men and women first-hand experience at the highest levels of the federal government.
The United States and China are cooperating closely to achieve the goals of the 100,000 Strong Initiative: to increase dramatically the number, and diversify the composition, of American students studying in China as a means to enhance people-to-people ties between our two nations. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.state.gov/100000strong.