【from Global Times Online】The 2018 Beijing International Forum on People-to-People Friendship was scheduled to be kicked off on May 26th. The 5-day event, themed with “Promote and Strengthen People-to-People Friendship and Bonds”, is an exchange of both cultures and experiences of municipal governance. It encourages the young generation of each country to carry forward the cause of civil ties, and work together to solidify the foundation of People-to-People exchanges.
The following is a speech delivered by Dato Abdul Majid at the forum on May 27th:
I would like to commend the Organisers for including the “Youth Exchange Programm “ as a topic for discussion in this Conference.
As we all know , visits to and between countries by youth is a crucial element in the promotion of people to people connectivity. Many countries have adopted such programmes with great success. Among the benefits are:
a. Develop long life leadership skill.
b. Provide greater knowledge on and awareness of other cultures , traditions and customs.
c. Exchange students and their families often develop positive relationship that endure well into adult life.
d. Build friendship with young people around the world .
These cultural exchange often involve adopting and learning a new environment and this flexibility enriches the skill of the participants.
Specifically in the context of Asean China relations, such exchanges may result in more added value advantages. These include the development of the sense of belonging , good neighbouliness, and citizenship between and among all Asean members and China. It is a friendly platform for youth participants to share knowledge , experiences and in promoting development in their respective countries and at regional level.
China offers an unique experience for the young . It has a rich cultural heritage and long civilisation . In recent past , China has achieved remarkable progress in commerce, trade, agriculture as well as wdvances in new technologies such as digitalisation and AI.
These sectors would be a valuable experience and exposure to the youths . It can contribute to help build stronger foundation to accelerate growth and promote regional stability. Such programmes can carry forward Asean China relations better communications , deeper understanding and close friendship.
For Malaysia and China , the two countries have aslo signed an MOU to promote mutual understanding between their peoples to consolidate their traditional friendship through exchanges between academics , culture, media and sports communities. Many programmes at various levels have been intiated.
The Malaysia China Friendship Association have aslo organised many exchanges , especially at the cultural levels.
I am pleased to share that recently the Association and the Embassy of China in Kuala Lumpurhave agreed to jointly organise youth exchange programm in the context of BRI. We are in the processs of identifying the mechanisms and nature of the programm.
Finally I wish to urge that Associations such as ours place high priority on the Youth Exchange programm. Youth are the future leaders and could act as the bridge for closer cooperation and undrestanding,