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Responses from Ambassador Yingfan Wang
 
  Permanent Representative of People's Republic of China to the United Nations
  About Ambassador Wang

   Global Issues
   Foreign policy
   Being an ambassador
   About China
   Miscellaneous
  Responses posted on December 2002
Global Issues
   
  Q: Recent reports by the United Nations have expressed concern regarding the spreading epidemic of HIV/AIDS to China, among other Asian nations. What measures is China taking, with or without the international community, to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS? (Joshua, USA, 16)

A: Over the past two decades, the scourge of HIV/AIDS has been spreading around the world. China is no exception and has been affected by the rapid pace at which HIV/AIDS is spreading.

China attaches great importance to the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS. In 1996, the “Regime of Coordination for the Control of HIV/AIDS” was established at the central government level, chaired by a leading official of the State Council and with the involvement of 34 ministries and commissions. In 1998, China formulated its National Strategy for HIV/AIDS and started implementing the Plan of Action. In terms of finance, China registered a 6 to 7 fold increase in budget for combating HIV/AIDS in 2001. 1.2 billion yuan of Renminbi (RMB—the national currency of China) was invested to improve the blood collection and supply facilities.

On the international front, China has participated in a wide range of cooperative activities with the United Nations, UNAIDS, Global Fund and other relevant international organizations. In 2001, following the GA Special Session on HIV/AIDS, China succeeded in convening its first national conference on HIV/AIDS and co-sponsored a regional seminar in Asia and the Pacific under the Global Fund.

As a country with a huge population, China faces special difficulties in preventing and controlling HIV/AIDS. In this regard, China will further strengthen its efforts to mobilize financial resources, expand access to care and treatment, promote research and development of new technologies, further leverage the advantage of traditional Chinese medicine in treatment, and address stigma and discrimination. It is worth mentioning that the care of children with and orphaned by HIV/AIDS is on our top agenda. We believe that through concerted efforts, we will bring HIV/AIDS under control in China.

Q: Dear Ambassador Wang, as part of a school project we are researching the UN and its member states. I read the goals of the UN for the millennium and in my opinion I really don’t think half of them will be achieved. The thought of living to see the world at peace and working together and a world with no starving people is definitely ideal but not realistic. I would really like to see the UN reach these goals but I think it might take longer. Do you really believe in the Millennium Development Goals? What is China doing to achieve these goals? (Molly, USA, 14)

A: The Millennium development goals (MDGs) set out in the Millennium Declaration express the resolve of the world’s political leaders to free their “fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty,” to make the right to development “a reality for everyone” and to free “the entire human race from want.” The Secretary General of the United Nations points out that one sixth of humanity still struggles for daily survival, in a life-and-death battle against disease, hunger and environmental catastrophe. Around 4 billion people in developing countries remain far from the security, capability and material well-being enjoyed by the developed world.

I agree that meeting the MDGs is a daunting task facing the entire international community. Progress in East Asia and parts of South Asia has been sufficient in recent years, yet progress in Latin America is slow, while much of sub-Saharan Africa and large parts of Central Asia face more challenges.

Although much of the developing world is falling far short of expectations, we, from the success stories in Asia and elsewhere, still believe in MDGs and believe our concerted and persistent efforts can make a real difference. With 13 years to go to the target date, we must work hard to put the right national and international policies in place; we must explore innovatively to mobilize financial resources for the poorest of the poor; we must work in a true global partnership where all partners have mutual responsibility and commitments and accept mutual accountability. This was recognized implicitly in the WTO conference in Doha, the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg and has also been reaffirmed in the UN Special Sessions on HIV/AIDS and Children, and the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiatives among others. It is to be expected that we will encounter great difficulties in meeting the MDGs. And that is why we need to work even harder to create the necessary conditions for achieving these goals. Otherwise, if we lose confidence or wait without doing anything, human beings all over the world will suffer.

China, as a responsible member of the world, is actively implementing its national strategy and plan of action along with the roadmap set out by the
MDGs.

Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger has been one of the foremost priorities in China. Since the economic reform and opening up to the outside world, China has undertaken numerous activities to reinforce and strengthen its efforts in poverty eradication. The total population in poverty has declined from 250 million in 1978 to 20 –30 million in 2001. In order to further eradicate extreme poverty in rural and remote areas, China is now implementing the Western Development, National Plan of Action on Poverty Eradication, focusing on promoting economic development, providing social safety nets and policy support in their reform and development efforts.

On education, China has virtually made nine-year compulsory education universal, covering 85% of the population. In order to ensure all boys and girls have access to school, China launched the “Hope Initiative”, mobilizing financial resources for poor families. Moreover, the government has been increasing its budget on education to guarantee that everyone exercises their right to education.

On Women and Children, sustained efforts have been made to promote and protect Chinese women’s rights in political, economic, social and other aspects. The extent of Chinese women’s involvement in state affairs has remarkably increased. At present, women civil servants account for one third of the total. The government also set up laws and regulations to ensure that women have equal rights in employment, payment, education and social welfare. The rights of children have been effectively protected as well. China has consistently supported immunization programs for children to prevent and control pneumonia, diarrhea, rickets and iron-deficiency anemia. We have also conducted a baby-friendly campaign, advocated breast feeding, built baby-friendly hospitals, and provided health care services to mother and children that include nutrition guides, monitoring of children’s growth, examination of newborn infant diseases, and preschool education for children.

On HIV/AIDS, China attaches great importance to the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS. In 1996, the “Regime of Coordination for the Control of HIV/AIDS” was established at the central government level, chaired by a leading official of the State Council and with the involvement of 34 ministries and commissions. In 1998, China formulated its National Strategy for HIV/AIDS and started implementing a Plan of Action. In terms of finance, China registered a 6 to 7 fold increase in budget for combating HIV/AIDS in 2001. 1.2 billion yuan of RMB was invested to improve blood collection and supply health facilities.

As a country with a huge population, China faces special difficulties in preventing and controlling HIV/AIDS. In this regard, China will further strengthen its efforts to mobilize financial resources, expand access to care and treatment, promote research and development of new technologies, leverage the advantage of traditional Chinese medicine in treatment, and address stigma and discrimination. It is worth mentioning that the care of children with and orphaned by HIV/AIDS is on our top agenda.

On environmental sustainability, China, as a developing country, is confronted with the dual task of developing the economy and protecting the environment. China has in the process of economic development, made environmental protection one of its basic national policies, regarding sustainable development as an important strategy in maintaining the balance between economic growth, social development and environmental protection. China formulated China’s Agenda 21 right after the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development and set up 10 National Strategies for Environment Protection covering law enforcement, monitoring mechanisms, public education and awareness, financing, and private sector involvement. Moreover, China supports and has actively participated in developing each and every environmental policy that has been put forth by the UN system, and has honored its commitments to various conventions and agreements.

On global partnership for development, China has been playing an active and responsible role in WTO, IMF and the World Bank. China supports an open trading and financial system that is rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory.

Q: Dear Ambassador Wang, I would like to know your thoughts about the deforestation of the rainforest around the world. (Mike, USA, 14)

A: Rainforests are in danger because of their fast deforestation and extinction. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the tropical deforestation was around 53,000 square miles per year during the 1980s (FAO 1993). A recent study estimates that if the world continues at the current rate of deforestation, the world’s rainforests will be gone within 100 years.

The deforestation of the rainforests is a threat to life all over the world. In addition to losing beautiful landscapes, deforestation may have profound impacts upon global climate and cause the extinction of thousands of species annually.

The cause of deforestation is very complex. Deforestation occurs for many reasons. The majority of rainforests are cleared for agriculture use, planting crops, and other commercial purposes such as logging and building towns.

Stopping deforestation in the tropics has become an international movement since the 1990s. Among others, the Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Desertification and the Convention on Biodiversity intensified international efforts to address this serious challenge. Because the loss of rainforests is driven by a complex group of factors, the solutions are equally complex. The future requires solutions both at the international and domestic levels based on solving the economic crisis of countries with rainforests, as well as improving the living conditions of poor people that are often responsible for deforestation.

China also gives high priority to the protection, conservation and sustainable development of the rainforests. On the one hand, China does not support the logging of rainforests and on the other hand it has adopted incentive measures and policies to encourage reforestation of the rainforests. In terms of commercial logging, China, being a party to ITTO, will continue to honor its commitment to stop the logging of rainforests and illegal trading of products from the rainforests.

Q: What are your thoughts about human cloning?
(Eduardo, Mexico, 15)

A: Human cloning basically includes reproductive cloning of human beings and therapeutic cloning.

Reproductive cloning involves the reproduction of a human being. The Chinese Government firmly opposes the reproductive cloning of human beings as it will pose a great threat to the dignity of mankind and give rise to legal, ethical, religious and other serious social problems. We are of the view that the reproductive cloning of human beings should be banned by international laws.

As to therapeutic cloning, it is widely recognized that therapeutic cloning, especially embryonic stem cell research in this field, brings hope for curing many diseases and has the potential to benefit the well-being of mankind. We believe this kind of scientific research should be safeguarded. At the same time, it should be carried out under close scrutiny and in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.

Q: What is China’s policy on terrorism? What would your country propose to stop terrorism?
(Javier, Mexico, 13)

A: China is strongly against terrorism, wherever and whenever it happens, no matter who commits it. There is no good terrorism or bad terrorism; the international community should fight against terrorism with the same standard. There are many things to do in fighting against terrorism. The most important things to do are: 1) strengthen international cooperation so that concerted and coordinated action is taken against terrorism, and 2) eliminate the root causes of terrorism such as poverty, armed conflicts, etc. China will continue to make its own contributions in this regard.

Q: Hello Ambassador Wang, warm greetings. Are there organizations in China to protect children and what do they do to protect children who have been abused, prostituted, mistreated, or overworked? Thank you.
(Adela, Mexico, 30)

A: The protection of children, especially their legitimate rights and interests, has been given great attention by the Chinese government. There are many organizations in China to protect children, among which, the All China Women's Federation, Songqingling Foundation, Young Pioneers, and Youth League are playing an important role in this regard. China has adopted “The Protective Law for Minors” in 1991, which has provided a solid foundation for protecting the lawful rights and human dignity of the children in families, schools, as well as in the community. If the children were not treated in the right way, like you mentioned in your question, various administrative or judicial measures would be taken in accordance with “The Protective Law for Minors”, “The Labor Law”, and other related laws and regulations. All illegal activities targeting children will be cracked down.

Q: Dear Mr. Ambassador, you are a representative of the world’s most populated country. It is a magnificent country with great natural resources and where wealth is generated. Is wealth equitably distributed in China? My opinion is no. I hope your country does not fall into the same mistakes as some Western countries that generate great wealth but don’t distribute it equitably. Are human rights really respected in China? I believe not. Unfortunately there are very few countries in which human rights are respected. I understand your country is very big and difficult to govern but every person has the right to life and dignity as a person therefore I expect and hope for a bigger commitment from your government to protect human rights in China. My last question is about international adoptions. Why do Chinese authorities make these types of adoptions so difficult?
(Luis, Spain, 33)

A: China has all along attached great importance to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. According to its Constitution, China is governed by the rule of law. In recent years, China has made great efforts to improve its laws in various fields. The issuance and implementation of various laws including civil laws, criminal laws and administrative laws have provided a solid legal guarantee for Chinese citizens to enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. As a developing country, the Chinese Government has always been concerned with its people’s right to survival and development. As a result of the Chinese Government’s reform policy and opening up to the outside world, tangible progress has been made in economic development and the improvement of people’s living standard. In 2002, China’s GDP has exceeded 1 trillion US dollars, ranking 6th in the world. The significant improvement of Chinese people’s life has represented not only a major progress in China’s history of human rights, but also a great contribution to the promotion of human rights worldwide.

China respects the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, relevant international Human Rights Conventions and their related basic principles. Up to now, China has ratified and acceded to 18 international human rights conventions including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and has incorporated the relevant principles and criteria set forth in these conventions into its own laws in light of its own actual conditions.

Like all other countries in the world, the human rights situation in China is by no means perfect. To improve human rights is a process. We are confident that with the concerted efforts of the Chinese Government and people, there will be an accelerated economic development, continued improvement in the people’s standard of living, a more fair and progressive society and the full enjoyment by the people of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Regarding the international adoptions, China promulgated the Law on Adoption in 1991 and subsequently the Regulations on Registration of Adoptions by Foreigners in the People’s Republic of China. In order to safeguard the interests of the two sides of the adoption, a certain period of time is needed to complete the necessary legal procedures.

Should you have further inquiries, please do not hesitate to log on to the website of the Ministry of Civil Affairs of China. The address is: http://www.mca.gov.cn. Or, you can send your e-mails to: mzxx@public3.bta.net.cn.
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Foreign Policy
   
  Q: What are China’s views on the situation in Sierra Leone? (Scott, USA, 14)

A: Recently the overall security situation in Sierra Leone has remained generally stable. But the peace process is still fragile, and many issues still need to be urgently addressed, such as consolidating State authority, restoring government control over diamond, reintegrating all ex-combatants, and promoting economic and social development in the country, etc. At the same time, the conflict in Liberia remains a major concern, as it has direct repercussions on the stability in Sierra Leone. The international community should continue its efforts for the sustainable peace and development of Sierra Leone.

Q: Does China believe the United States should continue its War on Terrorism in Afghanistan?
(Nick, USA, 16)

A: China supports all efforts aimed at fighting against terrorism in accordance with the Charter of United Nations and other international law. Every effort has to be made to avoid casualties of innocent people in the campaign against terrorism. International cooperation is of crucial importance to achieve a better result.

Q: I would like to know your opinion about establishing Xinyizhou as a special zone by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea?
(Xianzhi, China, 19)

A: We welcome this new measure by the government of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for its economic construction.

Q: Dear Ambassador Wang, as you know the political situation in Venezuela is critical. I would like to know your thoughts about what is happening in Venezuela and also in Iraq. Thank you very much.
(Isabel, Venezuela, 17)

A: China enjoys cordial and friendly relations with Venezuela. I believe the Venezuelan government and people have the ability to handle the situation and I sincerely hope that everything will be fine in Venezuela. As for Iraq, we always support a political solution within the UN framework. This is not only beneficial to the Iraqi people, but also to the stability of the region and the world as a whole.

Q: Dear Ambassador Wang, I would like to know your thoughts about what is happening in the Middle East. Your insight would be helpful in understanding what is going on there.
(Mike, USA, 14)

A: What is happening in the Middle East is really worrisome. The vicious circle of violence not only causes heavy casualties of civilian lives, but also poses a threat to regional and international peace and stability. In our view, the first thing is to stop the violence, which can only be achieved by the parties concerned with the help of the international community. We support all efforts for a fair, just and lasting solution of this issue based on the principle of land for peace. And I think your country can have a very important and influential role in this aspect.

Q: Dear Mr. Ambassador, I am participating in a Model UN program and our topics are: the Sudanese Civil War, South Asian Terrorism, and Israel/Palestine. I found the Israel/Palestine issue on your website but would like to know your position on the other two issues. With this knowledge, I will be able to represent your country at the Model UN. Thank you very much.
(Nathaniel, USA, 15)

A: Thank you for representing China at the Model UN, and we wish you every success. As for the Sudanese Civil War, it is encouraging to note that a framework agreement to end the civil war in Sudan was reached by the parties concerned last year. We sincerely hope that peace will prevail in Sudan, and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country be maintained. As for the South Asian Terrorism, I wish to stress that terrorism is a common threat to all mankind, and we support efforts to fight terrorism, no matter when, where it takes place and for what purpose.

Q: What does China think about the US plan to attack Iraq?
(Erica, USA, 13)

A: Like most of the countries around the world, we stand for a peaceful solution of the Iraqi issue within the framework of the United Nations. We are not in favor of unilateral actions. As you know, many people here in the US have a similar view. If America launches unjustified military attacks on Iraq, the issue will be more complicated, the Iraqi people will suffer, regional stability will be threatened, and the lives of the American soldiers endangered. Actually war cannot resolve the problem, but will cultivate more fear and hatred.

Q: What is China’s reaction to the removal of UN inspectors from North Korea’s nuclear power plant? How should this crisis be handed? (USA, 14)

A: We are very concerned with the DPRK nuclear issue. China always holds that peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula should be maintained and at the same time, the goal of denuclearization of the Peninsula should be realized. We hope that the parties concerned should respect and comply with the agreement they have reached and settle the issue through dialogue and negotiations.
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Being an ambassador
   
  Q: Ambassador Wang, what steps did it take to become an ambassador? How do people prepare for a career as an ambassador? What should you study in college if you want to be an ambassador? (Regina, USA, 16)

A: I’m a career diplomat. I had been engaged in diplomatic work for more than 20 years before becoming an ambassador. A rich diplomatic practice is an excellent way to prepare for being an ambassador.

What you study in college does not matter much in determining whether you become an ambassador. The important thing is whether you can develop yourself and acquire certain necessary skills, such as thorough observation, in-depth thinking and analysis, and being good at discovering and solving problems.

Q: Mr. Ambassador, I would really be interested in knowing what it is like to be an ambassador. You must get very stressed out. Even when I take charge of my own classroom I get very stressed trying to get everyone to quiet their little voices. (Antonio, USA, 10) I am a Mexican girl and would like to ask you what it feels like to represent your country and when did you want to become an ambassador? (Mayra, Mexico, 10)

A: Being an ambassador is very challenging. For instance, in order to face the September 11 terrorist attack in the appropriate manner, you need to realize that it is an attack on the whole civilized world and that terrorism is the common enemy of people in everycountry. Otherwise, you will not be able to make the proper reaction to what happened on behalf of your own country.

Being strong and healthy is also very important as an ambassador. You must be able to endure the long-hour meetings and conferences at the United Nations and be energetic all the time.

It is a great honor to be an ambassador. I’m very proud to represent a country that is the birthplace of a five thousand yearold civilization, now one fifth of the world’s population and whose economy has been developing at a rapid pace over the past two decades that is rarely seen in the world today.


Q: Mr. Ambassador, diplomacy can be a tip-toe business. How do you know the proper etiquette when dealing with different cultures? (Brian, USA, 13)

A: One’s knowledge is always limited no matter how intelligent he or she is. There are 191 member states in the United Nations. Each country has its own different history and culture. So it is hard to know each culture very well. But I think the important thing is to be modest and eager to learn when you get along with people from a different culture. When you respect others treat them as equals, you will surely be respected and find it easy to make friends.

Q: Do you have any anecdotes about interesting things that have happened to you in your life as an ambassador? (Diego, Chile, 12)

A: I have only one child, a girl. Being an ambassador, I, together with my wife, have to attend a lot of social events. So we often left my daughter at home alone. I remember once my daughter said to me very seriously:” It is the worst thing to be an ambassador and I will never be an ambassador myself. ” And she meant it. She chose finance as her major in college and is now working in a bank in China.
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About China
   
  Q: Nin hao? I am learning Chinese and want to ask you when The Great Wall of China was started and when it was finished. What does it feel like to walk along The Great Wall? Xie xie. (Teddy, USA, 12)

A: The building of the Great Wall started as early as 600's B.C. In about 220 B.C., under the Qin Dynasty, different sections of the Great Wall that had been built earlier were joined together to form a united defense system against invasions from the north. Construction continued up to the Ming dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.), when the Great Wall became the world's largest military structure. The wall winds up and down the mountains. The roadway on the wall is wide enough to hold ten persons side by side.
I’ve been to the Great Wall many times. Every time I felt that as long as you have determination and will power, any miracle of human kind can be achieved.


Q: What are some rights and responsibilities of Chinese citizens?
(Erica, Canada, 10)

A: According to China’s Constitution, the Chinese citizens enjoy the right of non-violation of human dignity, the right to education, the right to property, the right to elect and be elected and the right to speech, assembly, association and religious freedom. At the same time, the Constitution also stipulates certain obligations for Chinese citizens, such as safeguarding the safety, honor and interests of the motherland, abiding by the Constitution and other laws, as well as paying tax in accordance with relevant laws.

Q: Why are you allowed only one child in China?
(Lucy, USA, 13)

A: As you may know, China’s area is as big as the United States, but its population is five times of that of your country. Therefore, China is facing huge population pressures. China’s family planning policy is formulated based on the country’s situation and such policy will be continued for a certain period. We call for the policy of “one couple, one child” but in practice, we carry on such policy according to local circumstances. For example, in urban areas, each family is encouraged to have one child, while in rural areas two children are allowed. For the remote areas and the areas inhabited by minority nationalities, three or more children are allowed.

Q: What kind of educational system is used in China? To what extent is technology used in the classroom?
(Hector, Mexico, 39)

A: The educational system in China includes pre-school, primary and secondary education, as well as higher education, vocational education and adult education. The past few years have witnessed remarkable progress in the advancement of Chinese people’s scientific and cultural quality. In 2001, there were 140 million primary school students, 50 million junior high schools students, over 14 million high schools students, 13 million university and college students, 393,000 post-graduates and 12 million vocational school students.

The implementation of China’s 9-year compulsory education, ranging from primary school to junior high school, has enabled more than 85% of its population to have access to education. As economic development increases, interest in high school education has grown as well particularly in cities located in the eastern part of China.

Schools at all levels in China have enhanced the quality of teaching and students’ ability to adapt themselves to practices by applying such new technologies as the computer and the Internet. Since financial and teaching capabilities vary from one region to another, the application of technology in classrooms varies to some extent.


Q: I am currently in a community development leadership program and was wondering what kind of community development (e.g., social and economic) and leadership programs have been established in China at the local and national levels?
(Catty, Canada, 19)

A: In 2001, the Ministry of Civil Affairs promulgated the Outline of Guidelines in the Construction of Urban Communities throughout the Country, which set clear-cut requirements for the establishment of model communities throughout the country. Since then, all cities have increased their input to improve the construction of community service organizations and increase the construction of public service and cultural infrastructures, thus playing a positive role in improving the living environment and updating management and service levels. At present, there are 100,000 community committees that compose 500,000 committee cadres, 360,000 personnel in full-time service and 570,000 part-time personnel. Community development has gradually become a major task of cities all over China.
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Miscellaneous
   
  Q: Dear Ambassador Wang, do you believe that Model United Nations is an important program for a middle school to have? (Jamie, USA, 13)

A: Yes, I do. Model UN helps students to better understand the work of the United Nations and important issues like peace and development in the world. As a result of the preparation work and representation of member states in the Model UN, youngsters learn a lot about the cultural, social and political status of particular countries as well as skills of negotiation and persuasion. So I believe Model UN is an important program for a middle school to have.

Q: Dear Ambassador Yingfang Wang, it is an honor to write to you and share with you the achievements of our youth in America. It is a great pleasure that I inform you of the acceptance of forty students from Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Arizona, Oregon, and Texas who will be visiting China as part of the People to People Student Ambassador Program. President Dwight D. Eisenhower created this program in 1956. He believed that if people could visit each other’s home, attend their schools, and see their places of worship, then we would find out that our values, goals, and everyday lives are very much alike. The students who will be going to China were chosen by recommendations from their teachers, and were interviewed by members of our local communities. These young people are from all walks of life and will represent the United States and share its history, facts and ways of life with those they meet in China. It is an honor for me as a teacher to take these wonderful students on this experience that will last them a lifetime. Would it be possible for you to write and send a letter encouraging these students on the importance of being an Ambassador such as what is expected of them and how they should represent their state and country? It would mean a great deal to them and their families. In light of September 11, the need to encourage and make friends around the world is more important than ever. I’m proud of these students that they want the opportunity to spread international friendship.

Sincerely,
Mario (Student Ambassador Leader--People to People International)

A: ( letter to the students )
Dear Mario and young friends,
I am glad to hear that you and your students are going to visit China on the People to People Student Ambassador Program in June. I think this kind of exchange can play a very important role in enhancing the understanding of different countries. Through direct contacts and discussions, students will have first-hand experiences, which are far more convincing than what they can get from books and other media. Chinese people, through these contacts, can also learn about American way of life and its values.
Understanding and friendship are essential if we wish to build a better world for people of all nations.
I wish you a very pleasant and fruitful trip to China.

Wang Yingfan
Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the UN
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