A roundtable discussion among Chinese and South African college students was held in Cape Town on September 1, 2017, just ahead of the BRICS summit in China.
Five Chinese and five South African students shared their thoughts on the theme “China and South Africa: What Keeps Us Connected?” Over 200 people from South Africa attended the event.
over two hours, the students exchanged views on the similarities and
differences between the two countries. They also discussed how they can
complement and cooperate with each other within the BRICS framework and in
global affairs, how young people view the future of their countries and what
roles they can play in bilateral cooperation. They also touched upon food,
culture and renewable energy cooperation.
This is the first time the annual “From University to the World” student dialogue was brought to Africa. It has been held in China and the United Sates previously.
The event was organized by China Radio International (CRI), China Plus and Global Max Media Group (GMMG). It attracted support from numerous renowned local and international organizations including the likes of the Confucius Institute at Stellenbosch University, Bush Radio, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the South African Embassy in China, University of Cape Town’s Faculty of Humanities, and Brand South Africa.
The event was attended by the Chief Director for International Relations of the Department of Higher Education and Training of South Africa Mr. Ghaleeb Jeppie as well as the Education Attaché at the Education Section of the Chinese Embassy in South Africa Mr. Song Bo.
Jeppie said “the topic of today’s event is specifically relevant, because what
binds us, what connects us is an important issue, especially when the BRICS
nations are meeting in Xiamen during the first week of September for the
summit. The manner our leaders will be discussing these issues is indeed in this
kind of dialogue form.”
The organizers of the event say that it aims to promote cultural and social exchange between young adults of China and South Africa. With the steady trend of globalization, it is important for the future leaders of the two nations to build a relationship and have a better understanding of each other’s cultures. As BRICS members, the establishment of friendship should not only exist between the two governments, but also between the citizens as well.
In light of the topics discussed during the dialogue, Mr. Song emphasized the importance of the relationship between China and South Africa. He said, “Our two countries, China and South Africa are in a very good relationship right now. Thanks to the joint care of President Xi Jinping and President Jacob Zuma, our two countries not only developed stronger and closer diplomatic and economic ties, but also achieved fruitful results in educational cooperation.”
The participants of the dialogue were selected through online competitions. After two rounds of preliminary judgments, the top 10 students received an invitation to attend the finale in Cape Town. 2 came directly from China, 3 are Chinese students studying in South Africa, and 5 are local students.