With China and the United States making up some 35% of the global economy, the entire world is watching the two country's relationship. During these relatively tense times, the Research Institute of International Education South-South Cooperation organized an online forum on Sept. 12 to explore ways to facilitate education reform and opening-up between the two countries and ways in which to strengthen China-US education partnerships.
File photo: CGTN
Leaders of international education organizations, renowned experts and scholars in the field of humanities education in China and the United States, and international school principals gathered online to discuss key issues on China-US education cooperation and solutions to achieve progress in the future.
Cen Jianjun, chairman of the Committee on Study Abroad Services, CEAIE, and the Research Institute of International Education South-South Cooperation, stressed in his opening speech the importance of retaining education communication at a time when China-US relations are strained.
"History has proven that China and the United States will benefit from corporation," said Cen, adding that "we should maintain a rational mind and make more contributions that benefit the understanding of both peoples. China-US education communications should continue to play its irreplaceable role and strengthen communication, especially communication between young people."
Dr. Susan Sclafani, former assistant secretary of Education for Vocational and Adult Education, US Department of Education, said that exchanges between students have helped advance both countries' abilities in science and engineering.
"I know that many of our university presidents have argued that without Chinese students we would lose a level of the intellectual dialogue that has been such a healthy part of innovation in our country as well as in China," Sclafani said.
She added that one university president had confided to her that he was concerned that without continued collaboration, it would be very difficult to produce the high level of work currently being done in the fields of science and engineering. "We have such excellent students from both the United States and China working together to create new knowledge, new ideas, new theories that they can explore further," Sclafani said.
Dr. Wang Guangfa, principal of Beijing Royal School, believed that China should stick to its opening-up policy as it had been proven to be effective and a success. He said education must help implement such a pattern of thinking. The exchange of ideas and culture can help reduce cultural differences between China and other countries, including developed countries like the United States. In turn, Chinese students can learn to better understand the United States, Europe, and other developed countries, which is a good thing.
During the roundtable discussion session, John Delaney, dean of the Kogod School of Business at American University, said the political climate in the United States is currently overshadowing everything, including future educational cooperation and exchange. He also shared with the audience some possible ideas both sides could work towards to facilitate stronger cooperation.
The live webinar lasted for almost three hours and attracted more than 100,000 viewers.