In a bid to improve collaboration in education and culture with ASEAN countries, the Chinese government has revealed it hopes to see more students from Southeast Asia studying in China.
“Foreign students from Southeast Asian countries are the bridge and future of the relationship between ASEAN [countries] and China,” ASEAN-China Center secretary-general Yang Xiuping said in a public lecture at Nanjing Normal University in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China, on Sunday.
As reported by Antara news agency, currently 68,000 students from Southeast Asian countries are studying in China. For this year, the Chinese government wants to increase the number to at least 100,000. "We want to see more exchange students from ASEAN countries in China,” Yang stressed.
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One of the purposes of the 21st Century Silk Maritime Road – a development strategy and framework initiated by the Chinese government to unite and expand collaboration between China and countries traversed by the Silk Road route – is the realization of student and cultural exchanges between ASEAN member countries and China.
An Indonesian from Aceh who is currently studying in China, Indah Kartika Sari, said she received a scholarship to study journalism and communications in Nanjing Normal University. Regarding her experience so far, she acknowledged it was a rare opportunity to learn about Chinese culture. “The [Mandarin] language becomes an additional bonus for [foreign] students who study in China,” Indah said. (jes/kes)