People-to-people exchanges vital for US-China ties: experts

Beijing/New Haven

People-to-people exchanges are vital for strengthening U.S.-China ties, withstanding stormy weather from economic rivalry to geopolitical tensions.
This is a central message echoed by hundreds of scholars and business leaders from both the United States and China, who gathered over the weekend at Yale University to explore cooperative opportunities between the two largest economies in the world.
With panels on macro economy, urbanization, healthcare, fintech, art and culture, the 2018 Yale U.S.-China Forum, held at Yale School of Management (SOM) on Saturday and Yale Club of New York City on Sunday, discussed China’s recent emphasis on global connectivity and “shared growth through collaboration” by probing key issues related to this year’s theme, The China Accelerator for World Development.
Educational Cooperation Critical “The United States is the most powerful country in the world and China is a growing power, both countries need to find a good way to accommodate (bilateral relationship) so that no further tension would go forward,” Pericles Lewis, vice president for Global Strategy of the Yale University, told Xinhua on the sidelines of the forum.
“Educational exchange is positive since learning more about each other’s culture will enhance friendship,” he said.
Yale has about 800 Chinese students studying various subjects, accounting for the largest number of international students in the university, he said, adding that the university welcomed more Chinese students.
“Today there may be some disputes on trade matters, but in the long run this will lead to closer and more friendly relations,” Lewis said.
Yale boasts a long history of connection with China. In 1835, Peter Parker, a Yale graduate opened a hospital in China and became the first western doctor to introduce modern anesthesia to China.
In 1854, Yung Wing, who graduated from Yale, was also the first Chinese student to earn a degree from an American college or university.
“The relationship between the two countries has gone through ups and downs over the past 150 years or so, but the continuous exchanges between the two peoples are central,” said Lewis.
In the 2016-2017 academic year, more than 350,000 Chinese students studied in the United States, according to the latest figure released by Project Atlas, a global research initiative on students mobility. The number saw a 15 percent increase year on year.—Xinhua

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