left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Youth from China, Germany seek better exchanges

Updated: 2013-06-25 11:36
By Cao Yin in Berlin ( chinadaily.com.cn)

Youngsters from Germany and China called on governments to offer more face-to-face opportunities and platforms for communication, aiming to strengthen understanding.

The young people made the comments at the German-Chinese Young Leaders Conference in Berlin, which was held June 16 to 21. The event attracted more than 40 youngsters.

They came from every walk of life, such as auto companies and government administrations, to discuss topics including how to avoid misunderstandings and enhance urbanization.

The event was established by Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs and Global Bridges, a German association for youth communication, and first held in Beijing last year.

"To understand a country and its people, the best way is to travel and have a long-term study or internship here," said Feng Ning, a Chinese participant from Peking University's Student Union.

She suggested that education authorities from the two countries build more cooperation like student exchanges.

Meanwhile, the exchanges should includes activities that are popular among young people, such as hiking and singing karaoke, she said.

"After all, the real understanding cannot just rely on a short-term conference or talk," she added.

Simon Song, a participant from the Singapore branch of Robert Bosch, a German company, agreed with her, but he said the key of the face-to-face talks lies in wiping out old views.

"It's not easy for young people to set up better relationship after they have labeled others and been labeled. Trying to keep an open mind and inclusive will be the best way for the countries' development," he said.

He also suggested professors and teachers in universities of the two countries can supply more lectures in English to get past language issues.

"The differences between the two countries' young people, in fact, are not terrible, because these are also reasons why Chinese and German youth want to know each other," said Han Zheyu, secretary of the Communist Youth League Committee with Donghua University in Shanghai.

He compared the relationship between Germany and China to "husband and wife", adding the differences under inclusiveness will push them go farther and deeper.

Sun Rongmin, ambassador of the institute, spoke highly of such a directed platform to establish a relationship between the two countries' youth.

But said that not all Chinese and German people have chances to meet face-to-face. "Using the Internet to help them to know each other is also important," he added.

Kirsten Rulf, a German participant working for a television station, strongly agreed with him, saying that the Internet is a powerful means for the youth in the two countries to get to know each other, especially through Weibo, China's twitter-like micro blog service.

"Although the language is a big difficulty for us, curiosity will push us to surf online and get more plentiful information," she added.

  • Group a building block for Africa

    An unusually heavy downpour hit Durban for two days before the BRICS summit's debut on African soil, but interest for a better platform for emerging markets were still sparked at the summit.