On November 21st, 2013, the 100,000 Strong Foundation, a partner of Project Pengyou (a program of the Golden Bridges Foundation), convened their first annual conference to enhance U.S.-China relations through study abroad. Co-hosted by American University’s School of International Service (SIS), the conference occurred in conjunction with the fourth annual U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) co-chaired by Vice Premier Madame Liu Yandong and Secretary of State John Kerry.
The 100,000 Strong conference featured diplomats, university officials and students, business executives, and nonprofit leaders. Madame Liu Yandong gave concluding remarks at the conference. “State-to-state relations are very dependent on people-to-people exchanges,” she said. “Investing in youth is to invest in the future.”
During Madame Liu Yandong’s visit to Washington, D.C. she also announced the award of 400 two-week scholarships over four years to students in districts of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), to study in China. It was also stated that additionally, the Chinese government will provide 1,000 scholarships to Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) for longer-term study in China, ranging from 3 months to 2 years, for undergraduate or postgraduate studies.
Finally, another event surrounding Madame Liu Yandong’s visit was a reception held by Schwarzman Scholars, Tsinghua University and The U.S. Institute of Peace where Madame Liu Yandong gave the keynote address.
About the 100,000 Strong Foundation:
The 100,000 Strong Foundation started out as a State Department initiative announced by President Barack Obama in 2009. In January 2013, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unveiled the 100,000 Strong Foundation as a new independent foundation, which is housed at American University’s School of International Service (SIS). The 100,000 Strong Foundation seeks to expand and diversify the number of Americans studying Mandarin and studying abroad in China.