CGTN: People-to-people exchanges: These American teenagers send Xi Jinping and his wife a special gift


BEIJING, Nov. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A group of high school students from Tacoma, Washington recently sent Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan a special gift as Xi is now in the U.S. for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting.

The students from Lincoln High School Choir on Thursday prepared a painting for the Chinese president and his wife, featuring Chinese elements like giant pandas, traditional gateways and elements signifying Washington state including prairie dogs and the Space Needle. 

The teenagers also prepared birthday cards for Madame Peng as her birthday is approaching. They also sang her a birthday song. 

They offered the gifts through the “Enduring Friendship” event organized jointly by China Media Group (CMG) and the U.S.-China Youth and Student Exchange Association. Head of CMG Shen Haixiong accepted the gift on the Chinese president’s behalf.

President Xi and his wife Peng visited the school back in 2015, where Xi said to the students at that time that he hoped young people in both nations can enhance communication and serve as bridges between the two countries. 

The call continues

Eight years later, Chinese President Xi still bears the same call. During his meeting with his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden in San Francisco on Wednesday, Xi called to advance people-to-people exchanges.

He urged the two sides to advance cooperation in tourism, expand subnational exchanges, strengthen educational cooperation, and encourage and support greater interactions and communication between their people.

China is ready to invite 50,000 young Americans to China on exchange and study programs in the next five years to increase exchanges between the two peoples, especially between the youth, Xi said at a welcome dinner on Wednesday night.

Sarah Lande, former executive director of Iowa Sister States and an old friend of China, John Easterbrook, grandson of General Joseph Stilwell, and Elyn MacInnis, lead researcher at the Kuliang Tourism and Culture Association, also spoke at the event. They hailed President Xi’s support for China-U.S. people-to-people exchanges, expressing their commitment to strengthening mutual understanding and passing down the friendship between China and the U.S. to future generations.

A student, who was also at the event, said he is looking forward to new opportunities to communicate with students from China and stepping into a better future together. 

“The people-to-people exchanges create environments where both Americans and Chinese live better,” said Stephen Orlins, president of National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. “Now, what we need is more Americans to be going to China.” 


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