ASEANASEANASEANASEANSponsored by Peking University Institute of Ocean Research and supported by Sina Global, the 1st China-ASEAN Youth Summit was held at Peking University from 2-4 December. With the theme of "Voices of Youth on China-ASEAN Cooperation", the three-day student-run summit comprises of seminars, model conferences and cultural activities and is targeted at university students who are interested in China, ASEAN and regional issues.
The summit intends to achieve 3 goals: (1) Establish a dynamic platform of dialogue and exchange among youths on regional issues vital to China- ASEAN relations. (2) Foster long-lasting relationships among youths from China and ASEAN countries. (3) Allow youths from China and ASEAN countries to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the different paths of development taken by China and each ASEAN country, as well as each country's unique foreign policy, culture, and way of life.
On the morning of 2nd December, the opening ceremony of the summit was held at Zhengda International Center of Peking University. Honored guests includes Professor Zhai Kun, Director of Centre for Global Policy Studies at Peking University Institute of Ocean Research, Chen Yongli, Secretary of Peking University Communist Youth League Committee, Yang Xiuping, Secretary-General of ASEAN-China Centre, Wan Xuejun, Director-General of International Liaison Department, Central Committee of Communist Youth League of China, Wang Peijun, Representative from the Public Diplomacy Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, P.R.China, and Wang Wei, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Sina News.
The opening ceremony began with a video of the relations between China and ASEAN over the past 25 years. After that, Professor Zhai delivered a speech. He pointed out that regional expansion and contraction of youth would bring severe challenge to China and ASEANASEAN countries, but at the same time, it would also create new opportunities for cooperation. The youth are the future of our nation and they will absolutely play a more important role in the construction of China-ASEAN relations. He further strengthened the importance of youth exchange, the establishment of youth think-tank and the encouragement of youth entrepreneurial innovation. "What I want to tell to all the youth is to keep the vitality and vigor", Professor Zhai said.
Ms. Yang, Secretary-General of ASEAN-China Centre, made a keynote speech, in which she showed the development of China-ASEAN relations in the past 25 years, and claimed that the ASEAN-China Centre would seize the opportunity.
Then, Director-General Wan Xuejun addressed a speech. He denoted that the number of the exchange students between China and ASEAN has reached 190,000 and the figure could reach to 300,000 in the year of 2025.
Mr. Wang from the Public Diplomacy Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, P.R.China indicated that the interaction between the youths is of vital importance to strengthening China-ASEAN cultural exchanges, and their participation and contribution are closely bound up with the development of the relationship between China and ASEAN countries.
Mr. Chen, Secretary of Communist Youth League Committee at Peking University expressed warm congratulations to the successfully holding of the first China-ASEAN youth summit, and welcomed the guests.
Ms. Wang from Sina News advised that people should start from the micro, "Only thorough people's exchanges with ASEAN countries, can we discover the diversity of the world and gain true understanding the association of south-east Asian nations." She also encouraged the students to go out of the campus and feel the real China.
The undergraduate student She WenYan -, who is the Chairperson of China-ASEAN Youth Summit Organizing Committee, shared her original intention and opinions. She introduced that the summit was launched by a group of ASEAN and Chinese students with the main goal of promoting the exchange and cooperation between China and ASEAN youth, hoping that China and ASEAN youth can enhance understanding between each other through the summit. She encouraged all the students to grasp the precious three days to know each other and to obtain deep friendship through communication.
On the afternoon of the 2nd December, the lecture and seminar with the topic of "the China-ASEAN relations" were held at Zhengda International Center of Peking University. Professor Zhai delivered a speech titled "China-ASEAN relations: 1991-2016-2041, our common future". In the speech, he reviewed the development of bilateral relations between China and ASEAN countries, analyzed the current status of the development of China-ASEAN relations and future development of bilateral relations in the process of maturing. Then during the seminar, four more experts participated in the discussion, including One Belt And One Road Fund Executive Director Li Sixin, Professor Zhang Chaohai, etc.
On 3rd December, model meetings were held. Students of China and ASEAN countries portrayed the role of national leaders and discussed the major issues between China and ASEAN countries, and finally jointly issued a joint statement. Director-General Wan XueJun said, "Through model meetings, delegates hope students can experience the real scene in China-ASEAN diplomatic negotiations, and can obtain a deeper understanding of the other countries."
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of dialogue relationship between China and ASEAN, and it is also the "Year of China-ASEAN Education Exchange". "Under this background, the summit aims to promote exchanges and cooperation between China and ASEAN youth", Ms. She Wenyan said. Through series of activities, it is hoped that the friendship between China and ASEAN would be strengthened.