MANILA � Some 54 delegates joined the first ever China-Philippines Youth Friendly Exchange Program, which is expected to further enhance the relationship of the two countries, from Oct. 18 to Nov. 1 this year.
In an interview Friday, Jiang Fan of the Fujian Foreign Affairs Office said the program, which is sponsored by the Fujian Provincial People's Government in China and the Friends of the Philippines Foundation, seeks to enhance the relationship between Philippines and China, eventually increasing the exchange programs for the young people of the two countries in the future.
If the young people of both countries can know each others' culture and heritage, it will definitely help both countries maintain good relationship because the youth are the future of the nation or the world, so that's why we initiated this program, Jiang said.
He cited the regular youth exchange program between China and Indonesia, wherein participants have maintained their friendship through the years.
College or university students from the different provinces of China, Cebu and Davao are the main participants of the program.
Jiang added the students from China and the Philippines were chosen through application submitted to their respective university or college, and an oral exam administered by their respective provincial government.
Since we invited universities and colleges, we expect in the future that the universities from the two countries themselves can do student exchanges, he said.
Aside from the youth-delegates, some officials of Fujian Provincial Government; Cebu Provincial Government; Davao Provincial Government, members of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Philippine News Agency (PNA) are also invited in the program, Jiang said.
The delegates visited the CHED central office; University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman; Vargas Museum; Ateneo De Manila University and its art gallery, and attended a welcoming banquet with the members of the Friends of the Philippines Foundation on Friday.
On Saturday, the delegates visited the Luneta Park, Fort Santiago, Bahay Tsinoy and SM Mall of Asia before flying to Davao and Cebu, where they will also visit different universities, among others. Afterwards, they will spend the last week of the program in China.
This program is also in cooperation with the Chinese Embassy and the Chinese Consulate General in Cebu and Davao, Jiang said.
Meanwhile, youth delegates from China commended the hospitality and warmth of the Filipinos as they are expecting to know more about the country's vibrant culture when they visit Cebu and Davao in the coming days.
I wanted to see what the Philippine culture is like and the differences between the Chinese and Filipino culture. It's my first time here and I like the food a lot and weather also, Wu Xinyu said.
Dr. Gong Yiran praised the helpfulness and warmth of the Filipinos. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency