The Baucus Institute took eight students from Montana State University and the University of Montana to China from June 17 to 27, with a focus on public service, people-to-people diplomacy and climate and environmental issues. The itinerary included visits to Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. The group had the opportunity to engage in a wide range of activities and meet with various business, government and academic leaders.
In Beijing, the group met with young diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, representatives from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, and the US Energy Foundation. They also visited the Forbidden City and the Great Wall, two iconic landmarks that offered insight into China’s rich history and culture. The group had lunch at Tsinghua University and participated in a themed discussion and interactive exchange in which they discussed a range of topics related to public service, diplomacy and the environment.
The group then moved to Shanghai, visited the Shanghai Institute of International Studies, met with Tapestry’s Vice President Zhou Guanghua and learned about China’s democratic practices at a grassroots legislative contact point. They also had the chance to explore Xinchang Ancient Town, a historic area that offered a glimpse into China’s past. These activities provided valuable insights into China’s political, economic and cultural landscape, as well as opportunities and challenges for US-China collaboration.
In Hong Kong, the group visited the Hong Kong Palace Museum and M+ Museum to learn about the city's art and culture, as well as the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and met with various business and government officials. They also had the opportunity to meet with the China-United States Exchange Foundation, a prominent organization that promotes US-China relations.
Overall, the trip emphasized the importance of U.S.-China relations and fostered greater understanding and collaboration between the two countries. The group also had the opportunity to engage in people-to-people diplomacy and build relationships with a range of stakeholders in China. These experiences will undoubtedly inform their work in public service, diplomacy and the environment and contribute to a more constructive and collaborative relationship between the United States and China.