The Path Ahead: Getting to Know One Another Better

BEIJING, Jan. 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A news report from China Daily about Youth Power: China’s doors are opening even wider to the world, with connections among Gen Zers growing stronger. Whether they are newcomers furthering their studies or individuals who have family ties with China, young people from across the globe are deeply integrating themselves into the country’s development, culture and other facets of society. They are writing their own chapters in a memoir about them and about China.

Gen Zers told of their initial encounters with China and about their Chinese names. Most said that by exploring and immersing themselves in Chinese culture, stereotypes they had had about China were dispelled. Melina Weber, a German studying at Beijing Language and Culture University, said, “The beauty of different provinces and different ethnicities brought me back again and again.”

Gen Zers used specific keywords to describe diplomatic relations between China and their countries last year. “Dialogue, friendship and deepening cooperation were frequently cited. Susan St. Denis, an American student, said President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden met recently and had important discussions on fighting drug trafficking and climate change. With their conversations we see the potential for collaboration, she said. Anna Yuschenko, a Russian studying at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said Russians and Chinese are not just friends but relatives supporting each other.

The program guests discussed how, as the pandemic ended last year, China’s collaboration and connections with other countries strengthened. Yusrin Zata Lini, an Indonesian student, said that the completion of Indonesia’s first high-speed railway, the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway, would have been impossible without collaboration between her country and China. Ivan Sa Nogueira, a Capo Verdean student, said that during the pandemic China demonstrated great leadership. This also helped in building a new university campus and a Confucius Institute, allowing him to become a Chinese-language teacher. While infrastructure and economic collaboration are the basis for connectivity, initiatives such as educational partnerships, visa-free agreements with Russia, and the resumption of flights facilitate interpersonal communication.

Dylan Walker, the host from the United States, said people-to-people exchanges are critical. If people can’t travel, business and economic collaboration are impossible, he said.

The program guests discussed changes in the perceptions of Chinese youth and changing perceptions of China by the world. Twenty years ago mobile maps apps in China did not exist, said Guery Alexandre, a vlogger from France. The guests praised the advanced three-dimensional effect of China’s mobile maps, ubiquitous power bank boxes and convenient mobile payments.

Nafees Nawaz from Pakistan said, “Advances in technology have made the world smaller, and Chinese are absorbing a lot of culture from outside. But they do not consume everything and are processing it on their own level.” Susan St. Denis said that when she came to China for the first time in 2015 a lot of people “were asking me questions. Now, Chinese are confident in their own answers. China has created its own theory and development model, which is different (to that of) the West, and I want to be part of this vitality, change and development.”

The world has also witnessed China’s growing confidence, and views of non-Chinese of the country have evolved. Ding said: “China promotes public dialogue and knowledge sharing, and developing countries will be learning a lot from China, especially on sustainability. Also, people in Indonesia listen to Chinese music and watch Chinese drama.”

Gen Zers are committed to helping countries work together. When it comes to deepening communication between different countries, Melina Weber, Nafees Nawaz and Anna Yuschenko agreed that language is often a big impediment. If countries can speak each other’s language it will not only greatly contribute to cultural exchange but also reflect sincerity, they said. St. John encouraged Gen Zers to make good use of social media to let others know about their lives.

Among the Gen Zers, three China aficionados told their stories about China. In talking about his Chinese wife Dylan Walker said that the friendship between China and the US has resulted in closer governmental collaboration and brought tangible benefits to the two countries.

Youth Power, organized by China Daily and first broadcast in June 2021, aims to build a global platform of communication and exchange, focusing on the interests and ideas of Generation Z. The program comes in the form of interviews, forums and speeches, with topics related to everything of current interest in the world.


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SOURCE China Daily

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