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Cablegate: Prc Education Vice Minister Supports Proposal To

VZCZCXRO9545
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #2867/01 2870955
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 140955Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6434
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 2230

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 002867

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT PLEASE PASS TO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL SCUL PGOV CVIS SOCI CASC CH ED
SUBJECT: PRC EDUCATION VICE MINISTER SUPPORTS PROPOSAL TO
INCREASE NUMBER OF U.S. STUDENTS IN CHINA

1. (SBU) Summary: PRC Education Vice Minister Hao Ping
embraced a U.S. proposal to double the projected number of
U.S. students studying in China to 100,000 over the next four
years. During an October 13 meeting with EAP A/S Campbell,
Vice Minister Hao expressed hope to reach agreement on the
proposal in time for President Obama's November visit to
China. Vice Minister Hao for his part argued for the
creation of a high-level bilateral dialogue on educational
and cultural exchanges and expressed interest in increasing
the number of Chinese elementary school principals and
teachers studying in the United States. End Summary.

U.S. Initiative to Increase American Students in China
--------------------------------------------- ---------

2. (SBU) During his October 13 meeting with PRC Education
Vice Minister Hao Ping, EAP A/S Campbell outlined a U.S.
initiative to increase the number of American high school,
undergraduate and graduate students studying in China to
100,000 over the next four years. Noting the increase over
the last few years of U.S. students studying overseas and in
particular the sharp increase in the number of students
studying Chinese language and culture, A/S Campbell
underscored that this initiative would demonstrate the robust
nature of U.S.-China relations and affirmed U.S. intentions
to work with the Ministry of Education to develop a program
to create a deeper engagement between U.S. students and China.

3. (SBU) EAP DAS Shear noted that high school students would
participate in short-term programs and study tours, and
undergraduate and graduate students on long-term study
programs. Universities would receive grants to enhance
existing programs or initiate new ones. Without the
initiative, the level of U.S. students studying in China over
the next four years was estimated to reach 52,000. The
proposal sought to increase this by 48,000, of which 32,000
would be undergraduate and graduate students. The program,
to be funded through a public-private partnership, would
establish a stand-alone institution to provide funding for
studies in China.

Vice Minister Hao Welcomes the Initiative
-----------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Stating he was "very encouraged" by the proposal,
Vice Minister Hao praised President Obama's emphasis on
education. Vice Minister Hao said that the U.S. initiative
would have a long-lasting impact on Sino-U.S. relations by
enhancing mutual understanding and greater learning of the
two countries' respective cultures. He expressed hope that
the two sides could reach consensus on the initiative before
President Obama's visit, as it would have "an enormous
impact" on the two countries' relations.

5. (SBU) Hao cited progress since the onset of student
exchanges during the period of Deng Xiaoping and President
Carter, noting that over 400,000 Chinese students had studied
in the United States since diplomatic relations were
established. Over 70,000 foreign students were registered in
China, Hao reported, of which the greatest numbers were from
Korea, Japan and the United States. However, in the past two
years, the United States had surpassed Japan in having the
second-largest number of students. Hao praised the numerous
American universities with programs for overseas study in
China, including Stanford University's campus at Peking
University.

Maximizing Cooperation
----------------------

6. (SBU) A/S Campbell said the U.S would provide details of
the initiative to PRC and suggested both sides consider how
to present the education initiative during President Obama's
visit. A/S Campbell invited Vice Minister Hao to the United
States in 2010 to discuss programs to facilitate exchange and
to hear his views on implementing these initiatives. A/S
Campbell suggested reporting progress on education issues in
the context of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Vice
Minister Hao agreed on the importance of including the
initiative in the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, adding
that educational exchanges involved the least amount of
dispute and confrontation and that both sides could reach
consensus through minimal negotiation.

PRC Proposal
------------


BEIJING 00002867 002 OF 002


7. (SBU) Vice Minister Hao said he sought to increase the
number of Chinese elementary school principals and teachers
studying in the United States. Vice Minister Hao underscored
the importance of continued dialogue on people-to-people
cooperation and reaching a consensus on the establishment of
a PRC-proposed vice-premier-level bilateral annual dialogue
on educational and cultural exchange (septel) during
President Obama's visit. A/S Campbell replied that while the
idea of such a high-level dialogue was important, it might be
best framed as an add-on to bilateral dialogues already
underway.

8. (U) Delegation cleared this cable.
HUNTSMAN

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