On 21 September 2017, the 2nd ASEAN-China Youth Forum, hosted by ASEAN-China Centre (ACC), organized by the Education Department of Henan Province (EDHP) and Zhengzhou University (ZZU), opened in ZZU. Almost 150 participants including representatives from the Ministry of Education (MoE) of China, the Embassies of ASEAN Member States in Beijing, Education Department of Henan Province (EDHP), and China Young Volunteer Association, as well as Chinese and ASEAN students from 11 universities of Henan province attended the Opening Ceremony. H.E. Mme. Yang Xiuping, Secretary-General of ACC, Ms. Liu Jin, Head of Office of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs of MoE of China, Ms. Mao Jie, Deputy Director-General of the EDHP, Mr. Liu Jiongtian, President of ZZU, Mr. Abdul Aziz How Abdullah, Education Attaché of Malaysian Embassy, delivered remarks. Mr. Han Guohe, Vice President of ZZU, chaired the Opening Ceremony.
President Liu Jiongtian welcomed all the participants to the Forum, and briefed on the overall operation of the university. He stated that ZZU is the one of the key institutions on the list of National Project 211, the Midwest Universities Comprehensive Strength Promotion Project and also the first co-construction project jointly sponsored by MoE of China and the People’s Government of Henan Province, and the university with the largest number of enrolled students in China thus far. ZZU has taken an active part in international academic exchanges and cooperation with ASEAN countries, and has established long-term stable and complementary partnership. At present, the university has 241 ASEAN students from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Viet Nam and Myanmar. It was expected that the forum could provide a platform for ASEAN and Chinese students to share diverse cultures, spark ideas, forge sincere friendship, to make greater contribution to the ASEAN-China people-to-people exchanges.
Vice Director-General Mao Jie mentioned that Henan has the largest student population in China. As of the end of 2016, Henan has a total number of 57,200 various types of schools (institutions), and 275.4 million enrolled students, accounting for over a quarter of the country, and 9% of the total enrolled students nationwide. In recent years, Henan has been making greater efforts in expanding educational cooperation with other countries, actively participating in the building of Belt and Road, enhancing international education cooperation and exchanges. At present, there are 595 ASEAN students studying in Henan. The universities in Henan have been running six programmes with Malaysia and the Philippines. Henan University of Chinese Medicine has set up Zhongjing School in Malaysia through cooperation with Malaysia. The organization of the 2nd ASEAN-China Youth Forum has a significant impact for Henan to further expand educational cooperation and strengthen people-to-people exchanges with ASEAN countries. It was expected all the students of ASEAN and China could enhance mutual understanding and friendship, as well as responsibility.
Education Attaché Abdul Aziz How Abdullah on behalf of ASEAN Embassies in Beijing expressed appreciation to ACC, EDHP and ZZU for making the event possible. He commended that the Forum played an important role for ASEAN-China youth to expand communication and exchanges, and strengthen mutual understanding. He hoped that young students could actively discuss on the theme of youth volunteer and community development, and improve the capability of volunteers.
Head of Office Liu Jin representing MoE of China congratulated on opening of the forum. She said that both ASEAN and China attach great importance to conducting youth exchanges and cooperation. The youth activities are held during the China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week (CAECW) every year, which establish platforms for youth of both sides for mutual learning and communication. Youth is the hope of future. The development of ASEAN-China relations rests on the careful maintenance and inheritance by youth of both sides. It was believed that the Forum would help to promote youth communication, improve the sense of leadership and responsibility of youth, thus to contribute to the building of Belt and Road and ASEAN-China people-to-people exchanges.
At the Opening Ceremony, the students from China, ASEAN and South Asian countries presented wonderful performance such as traditional dancing and instruments playing.