Sponsored by Peking University Institute of Ocean Research and supported by Sina Global, the 1st China-ASEAN Youth Summit is a three-day student-run summit from 2-4 December in Peking University.
The summit comprises of seminars, model conferences and cultural activities and is targeted at university students who are interested in China, ASEAN and regional issues.
The preliminary event for the summit was held yesterday, 2 November, at the headquarters of Sina Group in Beijing. A panel of experts on China-ASEAN issues were joined by Chinese students and representatives from the ASEAN student bodies in Beijing.
The panel of experts discussed the role that young people can play in building relations between China and ASEAN countries, how this role can be built on, and how the relationship between ASEAN and China will grow and change over the next 25 years. The experts from think tanks and universities discussion was lively and was complemented by intelligent inputs from both ASEAN and Chinese students. One audience member had travelled all the way from China’s northeast for the event.
She Wen Yan from Singapore is the host of the First China-ASEAN Youth Summit and she shared her thoughts with China Report ASEAN after the event. She Wen Yan talked about the huge amount of enthusiasm from ASEAN and Chinese students and young people to connect with each other. She said in the past there have sometimes been a lack of channels for them to build fruitful partnerships but events like this summit are a great way to forge relationships across the region.
Rifanny and Clara, two students from Indonesia, were also enthusiastic about the event. They said that it’s a good idea to get young people involved in decision-making about the China-ASEAN relationship. Clara said that the relationship is important because both China and ASEAN are have big populations, while Rifanny added that China can help ASEAN countries to develop.
Vuty, representative of the 165-strong Cambodian student population in Beijing, said that young people are important for the development of China-ASEAN relations. In particular, Vuty noted that the Cambodian and Chinese governments have a close relationship, which is reflected in the amount of Chinese investment in Cambodia across all sectors. He thinks there is a lot of room for further development of this good relationship, with young people at the core.
After a successful afternoon, attention turns to December’s main event at Peking University.