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Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui Attends the Opening Ceremony of ASEAN-China Young Leaders Scholarship

2020/10/20

On October 20, 2020, the Opening Ceremony of ASEAN-China Young Leaders Scholarship was held online. Vice Foreign Minister and China's senior official in charge of East Asia cooperation affairs Luo Zhaohui attended the virtual meeting and delivered a speech.

Luo Zhaohui said, Premier Li Keqiang announced the establishment of ASEAN-China Young Leaders Scholarship at the ASEAN-China Summit in November 2018, and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and foreign ministers of ASEAN countries attended the launch ceremony of the Scholarship in July 2019. As one of the innovative flagship projects of ASEAN-China cooperation, the Young Leaders Scholarship will play an important role in strengthening the third pillar of cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two sides.

Luo Zhaohui said, China attaches great importance to ASEAN-China cooperation and has always taken ASEAN as a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy. Since the establishment of dialogue relations in 1991, both sides achieved fruitful results in bilateral cooperation in various fields. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, China and the ASEAN countries have worked together to overcome difficulties and taken the lead in global epidemic prevention and control as well as economic and social recovery, which fully demonstrates the profound strategic significance of bilateral relations. Educational and cultural exchanges contribute a lot to the long-term and steady cooperation between China and the ASEAN countries. In 2019, China had more than 100,000 students from the ASEAN countries, realizing the goal of "Double 100,000 Students Plan" ahead of schedule. China will continue to leverage the role of the ASEAN-China Cooperation Fund, focus on building Young Leaders Scholarship and other branded programs to carry out more cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and encourage more outstanding ASEAN youths to study in China. He hopes that the students will study hard and practice more in China, become the pillars of their own countries after they return home, and serve as a bridge to carry forward ASEAN-China friendship, so as to contribute wisdom and strength to the continuous development of bilateral friendship.

ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi, Deputy Secretary-General Kung Phoak, ASEAN SOM Leader of the Philippines, (Country Coordinator for ASEAN-China Relations) Elizabeth Buensuceso, Philippine Permanent Representative to ASEAN Noel Servigon, Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN Deng Xijun and other officials delivered speeches respectively. The ASEAN side appreciates China for the establishment of the Young Leaders Scholarship and the continuous implementation of the program against the backdrop of the pandemic. The year 2021 marks the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-China dialogue relations. It is believed that the program will boost the education cooperation and cultural and people-to-people exchanges, enhance mutual understanding and trust, and further advance ASEAN-China strategic partnership.

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