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Higher Ed in the News

Obama wants to send 100,000 students to China

November 19, 2009

In an effort to improve relations between the United States and China, the U.S. plans to send 100,000 students to China over the next four years, according to a joint statement released Nov. 18.

How President Obama plans to carry out the effort remains to be determined.

According to the joint statement, "The two countries noted the importance of people-to-people and cultural exchanges in fostering closer U.S.-China bilateral relations and therefore agreed in principle to establish a new bilateral mechanism to facilitate these exchanges. The two sides are pleased to note the continued increase in the number of students studying in each other’s country in recent years.

"Nearly 100,000 Chinese are now studying in the United States, and the U.S. side will receive more Chinese students and facilitate visa issuance for them. The United States has approximately 20,000 students in China. [Note: The actual number, according to the most recent data from the Institute of International Education, may be closer to 13,165].

"The United States seeks to encourage more Americans to study in China by launching a new initiative to send 100,000 students to China over the coming four years. China welcomed this decision by the United States.

"The two sides agreed to expedite negotiations to renew in 2010 the Implementing Accord for Cultural Exchange for the Period Through 2010-2012 under the Cultural Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the People’s Republic of China. The United States and China agreed to jointly hold the Second U.S.-China Cultural Forum in the United States at an appropriate time."

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