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July 10, 2014

Media Contact:
Travis Tanner
(202) 885-3373

US Reaches Major Milestone: 100,000 American Students Study in China

100K Strong joins Secretary John Kerry and Vice Premier Liu Yandong at the fifth Annual US-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange in Beijing for Landmark Announcement

Beijing – July 10, 2014 – The 100,000 Strong Foundation today announced that President Barack Obama’s goal of seeing 100,000 Americans study in China has been reached and will be far surpassed by the end of 2014.

The announcement was made during the fifth annual US-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE), held July 9-10 in Beijing. The CPE seeks to enhance and fortify cultural, educational, scientific, technological and athletic ties between American and Chinese citizens as a means for strengthening US-China bilateral relations. The 100,000 Strong Initiative was launched at the first CPE in May 2010 by then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Madame Liu.

“We are thrilled that this very important milestone will be achieved – and in fact surpassed – within the timeline set by President Obama,” said 100K Strong President Carola McGiffert. “It is critical to the future of the US-China relationship that more young Americans learn Mandarin and study in China.”

“This is only the beginning,” McGiffert added. “Americans’ interest in China is growing and with good reason. China is our fastest-growing trade partner, the second-largest economy in the world, and a major global power. In the years ahead, we will need more and more of our students – our next generation of leaders – to understand China.”

In her remarks at the CPE, McGiffert also announced several new and important strategic partnerships. The 100K Strong Foundation, an independent nonprofit launched in 2013, seeks to dramatically increase the number and diversity of US students studying in China and learning Mandarin. The Foundation’s recent developments include the following:

Action Fund Launched: With the goal of becoming a grant-making organization, the 100K Strong Foundation launched a major campaign to raise funds to support American students from underserved and underrepresented communities to study in China.  

100K Strong to Sign MOU with CEAIE: The 100,000 Strong Foundation will enter into a strategic partnership with the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE). The Chinese government has designated CEAIE as the institutional counterpart to the Foundation. The two organizations will work closely together to promote greater US-China educational exchange. Perfect World, a Chinese online game company, has committed $500,000 a year for ten years to support 100K Strong-CEAIE activities in China.

Avenues Joins the 100K Strong Team: Avenues: The World School is the Foundation’s newest supporter!  Envisioned as a single school serving children from pre-kindergarten through grade 12 with campuses in many of the world’s great cities, Avenues is expanding on its flagship campus with its second school in Beijing. The Avenues curriculum and community focus on language fluency, global citizenship and 21st century preparedness.

Ford Foundation and WorldStrides Renew 100K Strong Support: Demonstrating ongoing confidence and support, the Ford Foundation and WorldStrides renewed their support for the 100K Strong Foundation.

HBCUs Deepen China Ties: In our ongoing effort to deepen ties between Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and China, in September, 100K Strong will lead a delegation from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) to establish new academic partnerships that will lead to more African-American students going to China to study. In addition, we are delighted to be working with the HBCU-Chinese Collaboration Network, which is developing collaborative partnerships between HBCUs and Chinese universities to enhance minority participation in study abroad.  The Chinese government has offered 1000 scholarships for longer-term study in support of this effort. Dr. David Wilson, President of Morgan State University and Chair of the HBCU China Network, also spoke at the CPE.

Fall Student Reunion Scheduled: The Foundation will host its first student reunion in November 2014 in Washington, DC, where it will bring together current and former 100K Strong student ambassadors for a two-day meeting on US-China relations. Participants will learn how to leverage their experience in China into academic and professional success.

“The 100K Strong Foundation is grateful for all the support it has received from the US and Chinese governments, and its many sponsors and supporters,” McGiffert said. “The US-China relationship is the most important relationship of the 21st century. We look forward to continuing our efforts to ensure that young Americans are being equipped with the knowledge and experience to effectively engage with China in the years to come.”

About the 100,000 Strong Foundation

Our mission is to strengthen US-China relations through Mandarin language learning and study abroad.  The Foundation is leading a national movement to ensure that the next generation of Americans is equipped to engage effectively with China.

The 100,00 Strong Foundation engages US and Chinese government, business and academic communities in our efforts to expand the number and diversity of Americans studying Mandarin and studying abroad in China.  We invest in strategic partnerships at the state and local level, and mobilize a robust group of student ambassadors to promote the Foundation’s mission at the grassroots level. The 100,000 Strong Foundation is recognized as an organization of excellence and enjoys the strong support of U.S. and Chinese private and public sector partners.