CCG Hosts 2023 Chengdu Global Youth Talent Conference
On June 8th, the 2023 Chengdu Global Youth Talent Conference, hosted by the Center for China and Globalization (CCG), was held at the China-Europe Center in Chengdu. Guests from more than ten countries, including several ambassadors to China, representatives of international organizations, internationally renowned experts and scholars, heads of multinational companies, and youth representatives discussed topics ranging from how to better promote events held in Chengdu, making Chengdu a event-oriented city, improving its business environment, fostering the cultivation of international talent and Chengdu’s experience in working to become a “park city”.
The 31st FISU World University Games will be held next month in Chengdu and will showcase the open and dynamic, diverse and green aspects of this historical and cultural city. Green and low-carbon has become new themes in building eco-friendly cities, driving urban development and economic prosperity, while Chengdu as a thriving international city promotes friendly relations among people. Chengdu is a model of green development and as one of China’s most beautiful cities is attracting the increasing number of young people from China and abroad in search of a brighter future.
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To open the conference, Founder and President of CCG, former Counsellor of the State Council and Vice President of the China Public Relations Association, Dr. Henry Huiyao Wang, delivered a welcome speech and was followed by Former Vice Minister of the International Department, Central Committee of CPC, Yu Hongjun, Country Representative for UN Women China, Smriti Aryal, and Senior Advisor for China and Head of the OECD Beijing Office, Tamas Hajba, who all delivered keynote speeches. The CCG Secretary-General Mabel Lu Miao presided over the opening session.
Dr. Wang stressed that hosting large-scale international sporting events is an important measure of an international city. Hosting the FISU Games will show the world a new side of Chengdu as an ecologically friendly, livable “park city”, help strengthen exchanges and ties with the world, and make Chengdu more global. He added that as one of the first group of designated historical and cultural cities in China, Chengdu has made great achievements in building its soft power, its diversity and demographic advantages, as well as cultivation of outstanding talent. Chinese participants in the FISU Games will learn more about the world, while participants learn more about China and Chengdu.
Former Vice Minister of the International Department, Central Committee of CPC, Yu Hongjun highlighted Chengdu’s long history and rich cultural heritage. Since reform and opening up began, Chengdu has become a key center of development in southwestern China as well as an international metropolis that has become increasingly modern and open. He also emphasized the historical transition currently underway in which the international order is experiencing profound changes and multiple conflicts. Chengdu’s hosting of the FISU Games will enhance Chengdu’s connection with the world external relations, providing a window on Chinese civilization and its emphasis on key concepts of mutual respect, equal treatment, peaceful coexistence and sustainable development, writing a new chapter in international youth exchange and cooperation.
The Country Representative of UN Women China, Smriti Aryal stated that women play an important role in economic and urban development, and young women have the knowledge and potential to contribute to the sustainable development of cities. UN Women has a long history of cooperation with Chengdu, and have been working to establish a talent center and a women’s entrepreneur club to develop female talent. She believes that UN Women and Chengdu will continue to strengthen their partnership and continue to strengthen cooperation in the future.
The Senior Advisor for China and Head of the OECD Beijing Office, Tamas Hajba, shared his insights regarding the progress of current global economic recovery. He considered that as the economic and transportation hub of China, Chengdu has undoubtedly made a long lasting contribution to the development of China. Over the past decades, Chengdu has seen excellent economic and social development, with great progress made in services and finance, as well as outstanding achievements in education. He emphasized that youth are the leaders of the future, and he expressed hope that they will face the future with greater confidence, strive to reach their full potential, and actively contribute to create a more prosperous, more equitable, and more resilient future.
Mabel Lu Miao, Secretary-General of CCG
Beginning the panel session portion of the conference, Dr. Wang chaired the first panel on the theme of How the FISU Games in Chengdu Are Promoting International Communication”. Guests included H.E. Marco Balarezo, Ambassador of Peru to China; H.E. Ann Derwin, Ambassador of Ireland to China; H.E. Hannes Hanso, Ambassador of Estonia to China; HU Zhengyue, Vice Chairman of China Public Diplomacy Association, former Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs; LI Li, Former Vice President of the Chengdu People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries; and Tadeja Forštner Perklič, Deputy Director of Slovenian Embassy in China. Each of the panelists participated in-depth discussions on the significance of Chengdu’s hosting of the FISU Games and how they are contributing to the city’s image and international communication efforts.
H.E. Marco Balarezo, the Ambassador of Peru to China stated that city diplomacy is an integral part of a country’s overall diplomacy and can provide a different perspectives into national diplomacy, effectively promoting economic development and fostering civil exchanges between different cities. He added that Chengdu has established sister city relationships with multiple cities, including friendly ties with cities in Peru. Hosting the FISU Games is enabling Chengdu to strengthen ties with sister cities and Peru while enhancing its international reputation.
H.E. Ann Derwin, the Ambassador of Ireland to China noted that China and Ireland could build on a sister-city relationship between Chengdu and County of Fingal to strengthen cooperative ties in steel, trade, culture and tourism. She also emphasized how sports are inclusive and can bring people from different countries and cultures together, fostering international friendship and providing valuable experiences for cooperation.
H.E. Hannes Hanso, Ambassador of Estonia to China commended the remarkable achievements of Chengdu’s development over the years and looked forward to the opportunities brought by the FISU Games. He mentioned that Chengdu’s rapid development of infrastructure is turning it into an international transportation hub and a cosmopolitan city, which is highly attractive to young people who come here to study and work. The hosting of the FISU Games will enhance Chengdu’s urban image, promote international cultural and people-to-people exchanges, create a platform for people from all countries to unite in contrast to current international tensions and bring a better future to the world.
HU Zhengyue, Vice Chairman of China Public Diplomacy Association, former Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs praised Chengdu as a key urban center in southwest China and a world-class metropolis, not only as an economic powerhouse but also a cultural hub. He emphasized that the FISU Games will prove to be an unprecedented historical opportunity for Chengdu to show and elevate itself as over 10,000 university students from around the world and major media will gather in Chengdu, helping to significantly increasing its global presence.
Tadeja Forštner Perklič, Deputy Director of Slovenian Embassy in China shared her insights on how sports education, sports investment, and sports diplomacy can contribute to national development. She stated that international events like the FISU Games can strengthen international communication and exchange, empower young people, and cultivate positive values. She also stated her belief that the Slovenian university students can gain a lot of positive energy from sports events at the FISU Games, fostering friendships with other young people and taking with them beautiful memories of Chengdu.
LI Li, Former Vice President of the Chengdu People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, pointed out that in economic terms, the opening of the China-Europe Railway Express changed how Chengdu is opening up to the outside world, enabling Chengdu to partner with other cities participate in trade fairs and expos. In education, Chengdu provides scholarships for young students from sister cities, encourages exchange between government officials, and has formed alliances among universities in sister cities. In cultural exchange, activities like the Chengdu International Sister City Youth Music Week, Sister City Sculpture Events, and the Chengdu European Culture Season have been organized, all contributing considerably to Chengdu’s overall level of openness to the outside world.
The second panel, themed Sporting Events and Urban Development – Young Professionals Discuss Chengdu as a ‘City of Sports’, welcomed Gaston Chee, Co-Founder and Managing Director of BeGo Education, Joshua Dominick, founder of Krankin thru China, Shikha Thapa Magar, Founding Curator of SCOLAR Kathmandu Hub, Tungamirai Eric Mupona, Founder of Abroad Path Leaders Public Social Service Platform, and YANG Shuangjiang, Director of the Sports Industry Department at the Chengdu Municipal Sports Bureau, who discussed the role of global sports events in building a more global city, the role of youth in developing a ‘sports city’, and other topics related to each of their respective fields. Zoon Ahmed Khan, a CCG Research Fellow, moderated the session.
The third panel, themed How Sporting Events Can Attract Global Business and Talent to Chengdu, welcomed HUANG Bin, Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Ruishi Fangda Group, QI Yan, Senior Vice President of BeiGene, YAO Xia, Executive Vice General Manager of Chengdu Rongcheng FC, WANG Yi, Director of Government and Public Services at Deloitte China, and WANG Zhaohua, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Michelin China, who discussed topics ranging from the expectations of multinational companies in terms of Chengdu’s business environment, the new development opportunities for multinational companies in the context of sports and sporting events, as well as other related issues. This panel was moderated by CCG Secretary-General Mabel Miao.
The fourth and final panel was themed How the FISU Games Are Making Chengdu a City of Parks – Young Voices on Green Development and Eco Cities. This panel included GAO Fei, Senior Engineer, Deputy Chief Engineer, Director of the Fifth Institute, Chengdu Institute of Planning and Design, Jennifer Holstein, principle of Pingo Academy International Education, Mohammad Saiyedul Islam, Senior Research Fellow at Daffodil International University Belt and Road Research Centre, and Jose Renato Peneluppi, Executive Director of Hanguang Education, who engaged in extensive discussions on topics such as the opportunities brought by the FISU Games in Chengdu’s development as a park city, and the role that younger generations can play in building an ecological city. SUN Siyuan, Founder & CEO of BrandPal Inc moderated the session.
All of the guests recognized Chengdu’s rich history and cultural heritage, which has a wealth of resources in cultural innovation, tourism, sports, cuisine and music. Additionally, as the pioneer of the “park city” concept, Chengdu has laid a foundation for ecological sustainability, providing an excellent environment for hosting the FISU Games. Recently, promoting sports through the hosting of international sports events has presented new opportunities for cities around the world and the upcoming FISU Games in Chengdu will serve as a crucial catalyst in enhancing making the city more international, promoting cross-cultural exchange, and facilitating global interaction. They will also promote Chengdu as a “Sports City” that will drive economic development and cultural exchange, providing more development opportunities for young people from around the world and multinational enterprises.
In a buildup to the conference, the guests also visited Chengdu landmarks such as the Chengdu Giant Panda Research Base; the Dong’an Lake Sports Park, the Chengdu Museum and Kuanzhai Alley. These visits exposed them to Chengdu’s diverse cultural charm and unique lifestyle, while also learning about its history and traditions, topped off by a sneak peek at FISU Games venues.
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