The Asia Youth Leaders Forum kicks off today on March 25 in Guangzhou’s Nansha District. Young leaders from 31 Asian countries gather and will exchange their ideas under the theme, “Enhance Youth Cooperation, Strengthen Common Values and Promote the Peace and Development of Asia” during the three-day event.
Gao Yunlong, Chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, addressed at the opening ceremony and said most Asian countries have maintained stable development despite drastic global changes. Countries including Philippines, Malaysia, Saudi Arab, India, Indonesia and Vietnam saw rapid economic growth last year while the economic growth of China ranks high among major economies.
“As we embrace the idea of peaceful development and cooperation, the forum is dedicated to this common value and aims to push forward communication and cooperation among the young leaders in the region. I hope young people could seize the chance and contribute to the peaceful and continuous development in the region,” he said.
“We used to understand the world, the way of development, and even understand China through the prism of western superpowers but things have changed under the context of globalization. Our values and history cannot solely be interpreted by the west,” said Malaysian Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, at the opening ceremony.
Anwar Ibrahim thanked the opportunity to engage and believe Asian countries should not leave their legacy and wisdom. He took a quote from Records of the Three Kingdoms, one of China’s four great classical novels, saying, “The line goes ‘an act of kindness, no matter how trivial, is worth performing’, which resembles the Islamic understanding of always trying to do good for care, communicating ideas and compassion in the world.”
Mubarak Al Nakhi, Undersecrtary of the Minister of Culture and Youth of UAE (L)
Mubarak Al Nakhi, Undersecrtary of the Minister of Culture and Youth of UAE, said the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and China have a strong and long-standing bilateral relationship, whose cooperation covers areas such as space, business, education, and culture.
“There are more than 200 schools in UAE teaching Mandarin. The UAE Youth Ambassadors Programme, launched in 2014, have benefited over 100 young people in the UAE from intensive Chinese language courses and lessons on the Chinese government and culture. It’s in a bid to equip, develop and prepare Emirati youth to take on prominent roles in key strategic sectors within the UAE,” he noted.
With youth representatives from different countries gathering in Guangzhou, South China’s Guangdong province, Shanghai-based renowned infectious disease expert Zhang Wenhong, believes the Forum indicates the fact that China has successfully contained the Covid-19 pandemic and is rapidly enhancing international exchanges.
“In the future, the resilience of China’s system which has been strengthened in the pandemic will help the country to face future challenges. We should also realize that the exchange of people and the flow of goods are guarantees of a prosperous international community. I firmly believe that the future of the world rests in the solidarity of humankind,” Zhang furthered.
Feng Xingya, General Manager of GAC Group, introduced that GAC, a leading Guangzhou-based auto enterprise, has attracted young employees from home and abroad, who account for 66 percent of our total staff members. Our young staff members have participated in most innovation projects over the past 17 years, creating direct economic benefits of more than 1.1 million RMB,” said Feng.
He elaborated that the company focuses on the globalization of smart transportation, especially in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and other countries under RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership), as well as United Arab Emirates.
The event includes a series of sub-forums which are expected to shed light on such topics as high-quality development, health and medical care, global trends, innovation, finance and investment, and culture, sports and tourism.
The event is organized by China Public Diplomacy Association, China Foundation for Peace and Development, the People’s Government of Guangzhou Municipality and Asia Youth Leaders Association.
Reported by Jasmine, Lydia, Nina
Edited by Wing, Steven