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Students and Teachers from St. George's V.A. School Talk on their Trip to China
2009/01/09

MR. NORMAN HOARE, HEADMASTER OF ST. GEORGE'S V.A. SCHOOL, HERTFORDSHIRE, TOGETHER WITH 18 STUDENTS AND TEACHERS, VISITED THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN LONDON ON 11 DECEMBER 2008 TO BRIEF THE EMBASSY ON THEIR TRIP TO CHINA WITH THE AUTUMN CAMP OF "CHINESE BRIDGE". MINISTER CHEN XIAODONG MET WITH THEM. DIPLOMATS FROM THE POLITICAL SECTION AND EDUCATION SECTION HAD A PLEASANT CHAT WITH THEM.

MR. HOARE INTRODUCED THE TRIP OF 20 STUDENTS AND TEACHERS FROM ST. GEORGE TO JOIN IN THE "CHINESE BRIDGE – AUTUMN CAMP FOR BRITISH STUDENTS" JOINTLY ORGANIZED BY OFFICE OF CHINESE LANGUAGE COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL AND SPECIALIST SCHOOLS AND ACADEMIES TRUST FROM 22 OCTOBER AND 3 NOVEMBER, WHICH WAS THE THIRD TRIP TO CHINA BY STUDENTS OF ST. GEORGE. THEY WENT TO BEIJING AND YIWU AND WERE WELL RECEIVED THERE. APART FROM VISITING PLACES OF HISTORIC INTEREST, THEY HELD IN-DEPTH DISCUSSION WITH STUDENTS OF YIWU NO. 2 MIDDLE SCHOOL, LIVED WITH LOCAL PEOPLE AND EXPERIENCED CHINESE CULTURE AND CUSTOMS. THE TRIP HAD NOT ONLY ENHANCED THEIR INTEREST IN LEARNING CHINESE AND UNDERSTANDING CHINESE CULTURE BUT ALSO GIVEN THEM FIRST-HAND OBJECTIVE KNOWLEDGE OF CHINA. ST. GEORGE ENCOURAGED THEM TO SPEAK OUT THEIR FEELINGS AND EXPERIENCE IN CHINA, WHICH WERE WELCOMED IN THE SCHOOL.

MINISTER CHEN WELCOMED GUESTS FROM ST. GEORGE AND CONGRATULATED THEM ON THEIR REWARDING TRIP TO CHINA. HE TALKED IN PARTICULAR OF ST. GEORGE'S FRIENDLY RELATIONS WITH CHINA. GEORGE HOGG, ST. GEORGE ALUMINA, OFFERED SELFLESS HELP TO THE CHINESE PEOPLE IN THEIR FIGHT AGAINST THE JAPANESE INVASION AND LAID GOOD FOUNDATION FOR DEVELOPMENT OF BILATERAL RELATIONS BETWEEN CHINA AND BRITAIN. MINISTER CHEN EXPRESSED HIS HOPE THAT STUDENTS OF ST. GEORGE COULD FOLLOW HOGG'S FOOT PRINTS AND CONTINUE TO MAKE CONTRIBUTIONS TO BETTER RELATIONS BETWEEN CHINA AND BRITAIN AND CLOSER TIES BETWEEN PEOPLE OF THE TWO COUNTRIES.

MR. HOARE REPLIED BY SAYING THAT ST. GEORGE WOULD CONTINUE TO STRENGTHEN ITS EXCHANGE AND COOPERATION WITH BEIJING HUIWEN MIDDLE SCHOOL, ITS SISTER SCHOOL IN CHINA. APART FROM STUDENTS AND TEACHERS EXCHANGE, THEY PLANNED TO ESTABLISH COOPERATION PROJECTS WITH HUIWEN MIDDLE SCHOOL IN THE TEACHING OF HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY AND ENGLISH. AS THERE WERE MORE STUDENTS INTERESTED IN THE CHINESE LANGUAGE AND CULTURE, ST. GEORGE PLANNED TO INCLUDE CHINESE IN ITS CURRICULUM. IT ALSO PLANNED TO HOST A CHINA DAY IN THE FIRST HALF OF JUNE 2009 TO PROMOTE TRADITIONAL CHINESE CULTURE AND HELP STUDENTS TO KNOW CHINA IN A MORE OBJECTIVE WAY.

MINISTER CHEN FULLY ACKNOWLEDGED THE ENTHUSIASM OF THE SCHOOL TO COOPERATE WITH CHINA. HE SAID BILATERAL RELATIONS WERE DEVELOPING WELL.  THE TWO COUNTRIES HAD SET NINE KEY AREAS FOR COOPERATION INCLUDING TRADE, INVESTMENT, FINANCE, ENERGY, CULTURE, S&T, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, HEALTH AND OLYMPICS. MORE PEOPLE FROM BRITAIN ESPECIALLY YOUNG PEOPLE VISITED CHINA TO KNOW CHINA BETTER. WITH THE AUTUMN CAMP 268 HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS FROM BRITAIN VISITED CHINA. WITH THE MOU OF "CHINA-UK 400: AN EXCHANGE OF FUTURE LEADERS", THE FIRST 100 YOUNG PEOPLE VISITED BEIJING, HANGZHOU AND CHONGQING.

MINISTER CHEN SAID THAT YOUNG PEOPLE WERE FUTURE OF THE WORLD AND BETTER EXCHANGE BETWEEN YOUNG PEOPLE WOULD PIN LONG-TERM DEVELOPMENT OF RELATIONS BETWEEN CHINA AND BRITAIN. THE EMBASSY WAS WILLING TO RENDER ITS ASSISTANCE TO ST. GEORGE IN DEVELOPING ITS CHINESE TEACHING AND EXCHANGES WITH CHINA.

LATER STUDENTS FROM ST. GEORGE SHOWED THE PICTURES THEY HAD TAKEN IN CHINA AND INTRODUCED IN DETAIL THEIR TRIP, RANGING FROM FRIENDSHIP WITH CHINESE STUDENTS TO FIRST EXPERIENCE OF DUMPLING MAKING. THEY SHARED WHAT THEY SAW AND HEARD IN CHINA WITH THE CHINESE DIPLOMATS AND TALKED ABOUT THEIR BENEFITS FROM THE TRIP, BEING ABLE TO FEEL SUCH A COUNTRY WITH TIME-HONORED HISTORY AND SPLENDID CULTURE AS CHINA. SOME REMEMBERED THEIR LIFE WITH THE ORDINARY CHINESE FAMILIES, REGARDING THE HARMONY OF CHINESE FAMILIES AND THE HOSPITALITY OF THE CHINESE PEOPLE TO GUESTS, A SIGN OF CHINA AS A COUNTRY OF COURTESY. SOME WERE IMPRESSED WITH YIWU NO. 2 MIDDLE SCHOOL, REGARDING THEIR CHINESE COUNTERPARTS AS POLITE, HARD-WORKING AND HAVING TEAMWORK SPIRIT, WHICH WORTH TO BE DRAWN ON BY THE UK YOUTH. SOME WERE FASCINATED BY CHINESE CULTURE, SHOWING GREAT INTEREST IN PAPER CUT, TAIJI AND BEIJING OPERA. SOME PRAISED PARKS IN CHINA, REGARDING THEM AS A PLATFORM FOR SOCIAL ACTIVITIES AND ENTERTAINMENT AND A TIE TO BOND PEOPLE TOGETHER. SOME WERE INTERESTED IN AFTER-DINNER WALK WITH THE RECEIVING FAMILIES OR PLAYING BASKET BALL WITH KIDS FROM THE COMMUNITY. THEY SAID CHINA WAS A SAFE COUNTRY AND GOING OUT AT NIGHT WAS NOT DISCOURAGED.

TEACHERS ALSO EXPRESSED THEIR VIEWS. SOME SAID THEY FOUND CHINA, UNLIKE THE COUNTRY OF BICYCLES THEY HEARD, HAD LOTS OF CARS AND WAS NOT MUCH DIFFERENT FROM BRITAIN. BUT CHINA WAS DIFFERENT FROM WHAT THEY READ FROM THE MEDIA. IT WAS A BIG COUNTRY WITH A LARGE POPULATION AND MUCH REGIONAL DIFFERENCE. A TRIP TO CHINA WOULD HAVE ONE FEEL HE KNEW TOO LITTLE OF IT. SOME SAID THE BEIJING OLYMPIC GAMES CHANGED THE BRITISH PEOPLE ESPECIALLY YOUNG PEOPLE'S VIEW OF CHINA. THEY WERE ABLE TO SEE A STRONGER, MODERN AND VIGOROUS CHINA. THEY ALL SAID THE TRIP HAD ENHANCED THEIR INTEREST IN KNOWING THE CHINESE CULTURE AND LANGUAGE. THEY WOULD FURTHER STUDY, UNDERSTAND AND INTRODUCE CHINA SO AS TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF BILATERAL RELATIONS BETWEEN CHINA AND BRITAIN.

THEY ALSO EXCHANGED VIEWS WITH THE CHINESE DIPLOMATS AND PROPOSED SOME CONSTRUCTIVE SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO BETTER PROTECT CULTURE RELICS AND THE ENVIRONMENT AND BUILD HARMONIOUS COMMUNITY. THEY MAINTAIN THAT CHINA, IN ITS PHASE OF RAPID DEVELOPMENT, SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND AVOID MISTAKES OF REBUILDING A LARGE AMOUNT OF SHODDY HOUSES BRITAIN HAD MADE IN THE 1960S AND 1970S, MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO PROTECT THE MANY VALUABLE HISTORIC AND CULTURE RELICS IT HAD, LEARN THE LESSON FROM SHRINKING COMMUNITY FUNCTION BY PLACING COMMUNITY AT THE CORE OF BUILDING A HARMONIOUS SOCIETY AND EXPANDING THE FUNCTION OF TEACHING FROM SCHOOL TO THE COMMUNITY. DIPLOMATS FROM THE EMBASSY INTRODUCED CHINA'S EFFORTS IN ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND BUILDING HARMONIOUS SOCIETY.

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