Interaction Between Ambassador Sun and Scholars During China India Youth Forum
18 August 2020
On August 18, Ambassador Sun Weidong interacted with the Chinese and Indian youth representatives after the speech and answered questions. The following is an excerpt from the interaction.
Mr. Manohar, China alumni: Hello, Ambassador Sun! I didn’t know much about China before learning Chinese language. After learning Chinese and studying in China, I could really understand China. But there are still many young Indians who do not understand China. There is a Chinese saying that “seeing is better than hearing”. India and China both are ancient civilizations which do not know each other well. Do you think the Chinese Embassy in India can hold more activities to strengthen the cultural and educational exchanges between Indian and Chinese youth?
Ambassador Sun: You use this old saying very aptly! Only by seeing and hearing can we really understand a country, a nation and a civilization. To give a simple example, Indian friends attending the forum today all know that the Chinese are very modest people, and it has become a habit of Chinese people to say “it’s nothing”, “I am not worthy of” and “Thank you for your compliment” when they are praised. What influences the modesty of Chinese people? I think it is influenced by Confucian culture. Confucius, a great thinker and educator in ancient China, taught his disciples that “if three people go out together, one of them must have higher knowledge than you.” We can always learn something from others and it reminds us to be modest and eager to learn. In China, from primary school, children began to have this kind of education, and gradually developed a modest character. We often say that “conceit makes one lag behind”, which is very appropriate. This kind of personality and culture can only be realized through in-depth understanding.
Over the years, the Chinese Embassy in India has cooperated with relevant Chinese and Indian universities in organizing various exchange programs, such as “100 Member China India Youth Delegation”, “Chinese Bridge Competition India Round”, “Young Sinologist Research Program”, “China India Exchange Scholarship”, “Indian Young Scientist Innovation China Trip”, etc., which has provided good communication opportunity for the youth of the two countries. These events and programs serve as platform to enhance understanding, mutual trust and deepen friendship.
In the future, we will build more platforms in the fields of overseas study programs, think tank scholars’ visits, exchange visits of young scientists, and language and cultural exchanges, so as to provide more opportunities for the youth of the two countries. I hope you all can participate in such platforms, and promote the friendly development between China and India, and tell the story of you and China to more people.
Miss Shikha Pandey, China alumni: Good afternoon, Ambassador. By listening to your speech, we have a deep understanding of the importance of, and the youth of China and India should learn and communicate with each other. There is a Chinese proverb that “near neighbors are better than distant relatives”, which means that neighbors are closer than distant relatives. I hope that the youth of India and China can jointly safeguard their precious friendship, work together, make common progress, develop together, and promote steady progress in their relations.
I have another question, Ambassador Sun, can you organize a training course for local teachers? We need Chinese teachers with rich experience in teaching Chinese as a foreign language to train us, we hope that we can gain more teaching experience and more useful Chinese teaching materials by communicating with Chinese teachers, so as to let Indian students learn better.
Ambassador Sun: I agree with you about learning and communicating with each other. You mentioned about the training of local Chinese language teachers, and I agree with it. A strong team of Chinese teachers will help to cultivate more Indian students who understand Chinese and love Chinese culture. Our Chinese foreign language exchange and cooperation center, originally called the Hanban, has been promoting local Chinese teacher training programs for many years, providing systematic courses and training, including teaching practice and teaching materials, so as to better solve the problems of shortage of teachers, lack of teaching materials and backward teaching methods in some places, and to make Chinese learning more interesting and practical. In the future, China’s education sector will continue to provide support in this regard. You can also contact the education officer of the Embassy in India to help you.
In addition, we will encourage language learning and communication. Just now I also mentioned that language is the best key to understand a country’s history and culture, and learning each other’s languages is increasingly important to bilateral exchanges and cooperation. With the help of Indian colleges and universities, Chinese colleges and universities carry out the study of Hindi, Tamil and Bengali. As far as I know, about 20 Indian universities have opened Chinese departments and Chinese courses. The cooperation in language projects between the two countries has cultivated a large number of envoys of friendship between China and India, and is also an effective platform for enhancing friendship and mutual trust between the two peoples. We should adhere to such an effective approach, and through the joint efforts of both sides, including the education authorities, to make these platforms truly opportunities for the youth of the two countries to enhance friendship, deepen understanding and promote cooperation.
Mr. Snehal, China alumni: Hello, Ambassador Sun, my wife and I have applied for a Chinese government scholarship to go to China this year. We are very happy to receive this scholarship and look forward to studying in China as soon as possible. However, due to the epidemic situation, it is impossible to apply for a visa to go to China. May I ask the ambassador, when can we apply for a visa to China?
Ambassador Sun: You and your wife are very welcome to study in China. Novel corona-virus has been erupted this year and has disrupted our plans. In order to meet the needs of epidemic prevention, many countries have suspended the visa issuing policies for foreigners. Since March 28, the Chinese government has temporarily suspended most foreigners with valid visa and residence permit at that time from entering China. However, at the same time, it has provided visa facilities for foreigners who come to China to engage in necessary economic and trade, scientific and technological activities, and for urgent humanitarian needs. I suggest that you continue to pay close attention to all kinds of notices issued by the Chinese Embassy and consulate in India and keep abreast of the issuance of study visa in China.
As far as I know, the vast majority of colleges and universities in China are considering learning through online teaching mode. You can communicate closely with the Chinese universities you are applying for and take online courses step by step. Don’t drop your studies because of the epidemic.
There are also other Chinese and Indian scholars who said that listening to Ambassador Sun’s speech benefited them a lot. Language is the bridge of communication between the two countries, and the key to open the mind, which cannot be ignored. The youth of the two countries are the envoys of the new era. As Ambassador Sun said, the history of China-India relation is a heavy book, which we should read carefully. Chinese and Indian youth should tell each other every Chinese and Indian story. Today’s Chinese and Indian youth shoulder a heavy responsibility and are willing to push forward the people to people exchanges between the two countries through their own efforts.