On May 4, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong hailed the importance of people-to-people engagement during the third annual U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE). The CPE aims to enhance and strengthen ties between the citizens of the United States and China in the areas of education, culture, sports, science and technology, and women’s issues.
At today’s closing plenary of the CPE, Secretary Clinton announced new private sector pledges in support of the 100,000 Strong Initiative, which seeks to increase the number and diversify the composition of Americans studying in China. To date, the Initiative has received pledges of over $15 million and the Chinese government has offered 20,000 scholarships for Americans studying in China in support of the Initiative. New announcements today include:
Creation of the 100,000 Strong Foundation: Secretary Clinton announced that the Ford Foundation will independently provide $1 million in seed funding to stand up a private non-profit that will promote and perpetuate the goals of the 100,000 Strong Initiative. The new organization will launch a national public relations campaign to encourage Americans to study abroad in China as well as solicit new resources to create opportunities for students from underserved communities to study in China.
Funding Stream from New Web Platform: GlamourPin, a web-based commerce platform for Chinese consumers, will independently support the growth of the 100,000 Strong Foundation by providing a royalty of one percent of all sales to enhance educational exchange between American and Chinese youth.
Over $1 Million in New Corporate Funding for China Exchange Programs: American corporations continue to support the 100,000 Strong Initiative through grants to schools and study abroad programs. New corporate donors include Bank of China ($315,000), Microsoft ($100,000) and Motorola Mobility Foundation ($400,000). These funds will go to support increased study abroad opportunities for underserved high school students through Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA), the Chicago Public School System, OneWorldNow!, and the DC Center for Global Education and Leadership. Wanxiang America has independently supported the Initiative. Deloitte and Hilton Worldwide have also committed $100,000 each to support study abroad in China.
Launch of Scholarship Campaign for HBCU Students: Secretary Clinton has issued a call to action to presidents of public and private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to double the number of their students who study abroad in China. Under the 100,000 Strong Initiative, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund is working to create a scholarship for students at public and private HBCUs that would provide financial aid for their study abroad in China. Currently, African-Americans are underrepresented in study abroad programs globally and in China.
Scholarships for Seattle Youth to Travel to Chongqing: The Chongqing Municipal Education Commission will provide 40 scholarships under the “Seattle Strong” campaign, a local affiliation with the 100,000 Strong Initiative, OneWorldNow! (OWN!) and the City of Seattle. The scholarships will help underserved Seattle Public School youth engage in an intensive Mandarin language immersion program in Seattle followed by three weeks of study in Chongqing.
Expanding Ties to Jiangsu Province: The 100,000 Strong Initiative and the Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government are committed to increasing two-way educational exchange between American high school students and their counterparts from Jiangsu Province. This effort, like the Seattle-Chongqing partnership, is designed to support people-to-people ties on the sub-national level.
New Partnership Between Institute of International Education and Hanban: The Institute of International Education and Hanban agreed to work together on a new scholarship to provide more opportunities for Americans to study in China. They will support 60-70 American students who are pursuing M.A. or PhD degrees in the United States to spend two or three semesters in a host university in China for advanced language training, coursework, and research related to the study of modern and contemporary China.
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.