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How Much Do We Know about US College Students?
   2015-09-23 07:45:36    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Li Shaotong

"From University to the World 2015," an annual dialogue between Chinese and American students is held at China Radio International on Sept 22, 2015. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com/Xu Yang]

An annual dialogue between American and Chinese college students has taken place here in Beijing, with China Radio International moderating this year's event at our headquarters.

CRI's Luo Yu has more.

 

This year's event has asked the question: How much do we know about each other?'

In an attempt to answer it, college students from Chinese and American universities have sat down together to share their understanding of the Sino-US dynamic through their life at college.

William Weightman, a panelist from Middlebury College in the US, says he believes there is an outdated mindset in the United States about what is happening here in China.

"I think that it's quintessential that Americans improve their understanding of Chinese people, Chinese language and Chinese culture. As an American, I can say the biggest room for improvement is for understanding different political cultures that exist in our two countries. I think that there is a very strong misunderstanding of what the Chinese government is, how it functions, and how it makes decisions. Some of the current rhetoric you would hear in the United States is that China is authoritarian and the government doesn't represent the people. But I have talked to many Chinese people that have presented opposite opinions that have broadened my perspective and helped me think how government functions in different context."

Wu Benyang studies at the University of International Relations in China.

She says she believes one of the biggest challenges for people in China is to better-understand how the political systems differ.

"The biggest impediment would be we think differently, so it would be hard for me to understand other people's viewpoints, like it would be hard for my country to understand their diplomatic policy from their perspective. Again that's why communication is so important between Chinese people and American people, especially the young people. And I'm very glad that I'm here."

Elizabeth Woods studies at Georgetown University in Washington.

"I have a very optimistic view of the future of the Sino-US relationships. Just considering the fact that President Obama and President Xi are right now in Washington discussing current present issues. I think that it itself is a signifier that we will continue to have healthy relationship, open communication and I think just through dialogues such as this, we can ensure that China and America will in fact be friends in the future and unite on international issues."

Teng Jimeng, Associate Professor of American Studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University, says he believes its opportunities like the dialogue hosted by CRI that will help bridge the gap.

"To a large extent, I think this would promote a kind of the understanding, as well as two way commination, it's not just the one way. It is always the two way communication in between our country's young people. So I applaud it, I welcome this. I think this should be a continued project or program with the CRI."

Xia Jixuan is the deputy President of China Radio International.

"I expect that in the future, more people will either take part in these discussions, or watch the discussions on different terminals, so they will be part of the discussion. They raise their questions for the panelists to discuss. Only by attracting more people into these activities can we promote better understanding between these two countries."

This year's discussions, hosted by NEWS Plus Radio on China Radio International, have taken place in Beijing and Shanghai.

They've been broadcast worldwide through radio, television and social media sites.

For CRI, I'm Luo Yu reporting in Beijing.


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