32 outstanding self-financed Chinese overseas students in eastern U.S. were honored with a prestigious government award for their achievement in New York on Saturday.
Presented by the Zhang Qiyue, the Chinese Consul General in New York, the students in the consulate's ten-state jurisdiction received award certificates and scholarships ranging from ,000 to ,000.
The students were among 500 winners from 25 countries who were honored for their remarkable achievements in 2017 with the Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad, an annual program sponsored by the China Scholarship Council, a non-profit agency affiliated with China's Ministry of Education.
"Our nation's future is in our young people, and the future of China-US relations will be in hands of today's young people of both countries," said Zhang. "Today's China-US relations are at the crossroads, I hope all of us will learn even harder to enhance mutual understanding in our two countries and to strengthen cooperation of our two nations."
"This year is China's 40th year of reform and opening up, and I think in China's development, the external environment is very important, and our relations with the outside world is going to be a very important factor in this development. " said Zhang. "And in this relations with the outside world, the US-China bilateral is the most important bilateral relationship, because this not only impacts our two nations, it will also have a very strong impact on world peace and development."
Zhang said all students and professors in the US can play an important and unique role in sharing your own experience in China, especially regarding the China-US disputes in trade and other areas.
"People-to-people exchanges are really at the core of the state-to state relations," added Zhang.
"I deeply felt our country's encourage and support to our overseas students and talents," said Peng Chenhui, one of the four Extraordinary Potential Prize winner among the 32 award recipients who is working on a post-doctoral program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "It's an unexpected and huge honor for me because I graduated from non big-name universities – I got my P.hD from Kent State University and my undergraduate school is Qufu Normal University. My hard work has recognizedby my mother nation, it's really encouraging."
Peng said in recent years, China has made great efforts to attract overseas talents and provided lots of support, for example the government has initiated "the Thousand Talents Plan" to bring overseas talents back to China.
"I'm considering going back to China for work after my post-doctoral program in the US," added Peng.
""I think it's a very remarkable idea that the Chinese government to show the young students how important is their aspiration to continue science research and development, it's wonderful," said Oleg Lavrentovich, Peng's professor at the Kent State University who also attended the event.
"Our Chinese overseas students have a special advantage – we have the foundation of Chinese education and we also have an exposure to the most advanced research and knowledge from the west, " said Zhang Chi, another recipient of the award, a post-doctoral researcher of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. "I hope I can combine my own personal dreams with the construction of the science exchange bridge between out two nations."
Since the award was established in 2003, a total of 5,915 outstanding Chinese students have received the highest honor given by the Chinese government to students studying in foreign universities who do not receive financial support from the government.