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Chen Zhu: WRSA to Strengthen People-to-People Diplomacy

The Western Returned Scholars Association (WRSA), also known as the Overseas-educated Scholars Association of China (OSAC), is a Chinese government-affiliated entity consisting of over 40,000 Chinese scholars and researchers who have studied outside of China. The Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCCCP) heads the WRSA and the CCCCP‘s United Front Work Department now manages it.

On the evening of January 25th, Chen Zhu, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and the president of WRSA, attended WRSA’s 2019 New Year’s Gala and delivered a speech.

Chen said that, in 2018, WRSA did many explorations into carrying out people-to-people diplomacy and promoting China’s opening up policy to the world. At the “Third Sino-French Cultural Forum” in Xi’an, more than 600 representatives from various circles of China and France attended and reached a consensus on the “One Belt, One Road” initiative. The 16th “21st Century China Forum” was held in Switzerland, where the Chinese and Swiss guests had in-depth exchanges about the “Innovation, Cooperation, and Community of a Shared Future for Mankind.” The first Sino-German Science and Technology Forum in Germany proactively promoted the further pragmatic cooperation between China and Germany in science and technology.

Chen added, “At present, the world is facing a change that hasn’t happened over the past 100 years. The countries around the world are increasingly interdependent and form a Community of a Shared Future for Mankind in which we all have a stake in each other’s future. In 2019, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, WRSA will vigorously carry out brand name people-to-people diplomatic activities. They include the 4th Sino-French Cultural Forum in France; the 17th “21st Century China Forum” in the UK; the 2nd International Think Tank Forum in Beijing; and the China-US Economic and Trade Forum in Guangzhou. At the same time, we will further strengthen foreign exchanges and increase connections, communication, and cooperation with foreign embassies, consulates, NGOs, and chambers of commerce.”

In 2013, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, attended the 100th anniversary of the establishment of WRSA and required that the WRSA become the “fresh blood of people-to-people diplomacy.” Subsequently, in 2016, the General Office of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCCCP) issued the “Opinions on Strengthening the Development of the Western Returned Scholars Association (Overseas-educated Scholars Association of China,” a very first and milestone document that the CCCCP issued regarding the work of overseas students.

Source: The Paper, January 26, 2019