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Speech at the Opening of the 8th China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week by Yuan Guiren, Minister of Education of China
Source:  Author:  Edit:张文龙  Date:2015-08-25  Click rate:3141  [Print]  [Close]



Honorable Mr. Liu Xiaofeng, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), 

Honorable Mr. Sok An, Vice Premier of Cambodia, 

Dear guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen, 

I am so glad to be here with you in beautiful and pleasant Gui Yang City. On behalf of Minister of Education of China, may I extend our sincere welcome to all the guests from afar, and to give the best wishes to the dear friends, who have contributed to the educational and cultural exchanges between China and ASEAN!

The Chinese government pays much attention to the exchanges and cooperation with ASEAN in education and other fields. President Xi Jinping proposed to build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and establish the China-ASEAN community of common destiny. Mr. Li Keqiang, Vice Premier of the State Council of China, suggested to open up the new field of the cooperation in culture, science and technology and environmental protection. Ms. Liu Yandong, Vice Premier of the State Council of China, visited Indonesia in May, 2015,   Culture Exchange Mechanism at vice premier level was set up by China and Indonesia, and its first conference was held as well. 

Ms. Liu Yandong sent her congratulations on the opening of this Week and her best wishes for the guest present. Here it goes,

“As neighbors, China and ASEAN have the similar culture, a close relationship between both peoples, and long-established culture exchanges that the Chinese government attaches great importance to. The China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week, the creation of the exchanges and cooperation of both sides, exerts the important influence on bridgingthe exchanges between the youth of both sides, enhancing the cultural exchanges, promoting the understanding and consecuses and the friendship between nations.”

Today, the strategic partnership between China and ASEAN is advancing towards a new stage with a higher starting point, a broader connotation, and deeper cooperation. The year 2016 is the 25th anniversary of establishing the dialogue between China and ASEAN, and China has engaged in an active discussion with the ASEAN side to make it the Educational Year between China and ASEAN. We hope the both sides will grasp this opportunity and continue to give full play to the exchange week to promote the adolescent friendship, common educational development, cultural exchange and the friendly public opinion foundation. Also, the both sides are going to build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road together, for sustainable future prosperity and development of both sides.

I wish 8th China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week a great success!”

The Chinese leadership place high expectations on the educational exchange between China and ASEAN. And Ministry of Education of China would like to implement the agreements reached by both sides’ leaders, for mutual learning and future benefits in a pramatic and social-oriented manner. The China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week serves as a key platform and a special brand for the cultural exchange  friendship, mutual understanding and mutual learning between China and ASEAN countries.

Ladies and gentlemen, 

China and the ASEAN countries are the close neighbors, good friends and good partners, with conjoint territory, close relations and interlinked culture. From the Han Dynasty of China, over 2000 years ago. This exchange was deepned at the beginning of 15th century when the famous navigator Zhang He in Ming Dynasty of China started his seventh ocean navigation. Recently, closer relations between China and ASEAN, the growing political trust, the pragmatic cooperation and cultural exchange have brought more benefits to the people in Asia and in the world.

In the all-round cooperation between China and ASEAN, the educational exchanges and cooperation exerted great impact on the mutual trust and perpetual friendship. During the 3rd Cooperation Week in 2010, I attended the round-table conferences for all the ministers of education of the ASEAN countries, and we had an in-depth discussion about the enhancement of educational exchanges and cooperation and regional development. In the past five years, great development has been achieved in the exchanges and cooperation of both sides: there have been almost 120,000 Chinese students in the ASEAN countries until 2014, meanwhile, the ASEAN students in China have reached 70,000; the Chinese universities have offered courses including teaching the languages of all the ASEAN countries, and 30 Confucius Institutes, 30 primary and secondary Confucius Classrooms have been set up by the ASEAN countries, so that more and more students from both sides are learning languages and culture from each other. These achievements show us the tremendous potential and broad space of development of the educational and cultural exchanges between China and ASEAN.

Ladies and gentlemen, 

At present, the Chinese people, in accordance with the strategy to  build a moderately prosperous society, deepen reform, advance the law-based governance of China, and strengthen Party self-discipline, are striving for the China Dream of the great renaissance of the Chinese nation.

Education is the basis for long-term development. The Chinese government gives priority to educational development and formulates the implementation of the National Outline for Medium and Long-term Education Reform and Development (2010-2020), which set the guidelines of giving priority to education development, taking cultivation of talents as the basis of education, carrying out reforms and innovations, ensuring equal chances for education, and designating the goal that China will “basically realize the modernization of education, basically forming a learning society, and become a nation with powerful human resources by 2020”. The last five years saw sustainable and healthy development in China’s education at all levels. The gross enrollment rate for preschool education reached 70.5%, 19.6% higher than that in 2009. The consolidation rate of compulsory education was increased to 92.6%. The gross enrollment rate for senior secondary education has reached 86.5%. Most of the new labor force has received high school education or above. And now there are nearly 30 million students in vocational schools. Professional trainings come up to 200 million person-times. The gross enrollment rate for higher education rose to 37.5% with a total number of 35.59 million. 

At the same time, we speed up the development of continuing education, care and support minority ethnic education and special education. We provide more supports for education in rural areas, remote and poor areas and ethnic minority areas to guarantee the public rights of being educated. In the process, the Chinese government has greatly increased the investment in education. In 2012, government’s spending on education reached 4% of the GDP of the year. Next, we will continue to the comprehensive and in-depth reform of education, manage education by law, ensure equal access to education, improve education quality, enhance students’ social responsibility, initiative spirit and practical ability and thus accelerate the modernization of Chinese education.

 In recent years, education development in ASEAN countries is continuously improved. We are willing to actively learn and draw lessons from the educational experience of ASEAN countries, and to share opportunities for common prosperity.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The relationship between countries is based on cultural exchanges. Education, as a key of such exchanges, is an inexhaustible driving force to deepen China-ASEAN strategic partnership and to build the community of destiny between China and ASEAN. We should have more exchange and cooperation, complement each other and learn from each other. We should scale up educational exchange constantly, and try to cultivate new highlights in education cooperation:

Firstly, to establish the year of 2016 as a China-ASEAN Educational Year. China has taken initiative in discussion with ASEAN on the China-ASEAN Educational Year. Based on the activities in the China-ASEAN Educational Year, China hopes to show to the world the fruitful results of the educational exchanges between China and ASEAN, the brilliant achievements of the development of both sides in education, and to promote educational exchanges between the two sides to a new level. 

Secondly, to broaden the scale and influence of China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week. China proposes to hold the second round-table conference between China-ASEAN Ministers of Education to plan a blueprint of the educational exchange between both sides at a new historical starting point. At the same time, we should increase investment, mobilize and integrate the resources of government, colleges and universities, enterprises, scientific research institutions, think tanks and other forces, to make China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week an important platform and characteristic brand for the cultural exchange and cooperation between the two sides.

Thirdly, to expand the depth and breadth of educational and cultural exchanges between the two sides. China suggests establishing an all-round exchanges and cooperation mechanisms in various areas, designing more and better brands, expanding the scale of exchange students between China and ASEAN countries, and making closer the exchanges of young students from various countries.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Education is the link, and friendship is the bridge. Let's work together for a bright future of China-ASEAN education and cultural exchanges, and contribute to the maritime Silk Road in the 21st century and the China-ASEAN community of common destiny.

Wish the 8th China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week a great success!

Wish all of you good health and successful career!

Thank you very much!

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