Bond with Kuliang : 2024 China-U.S. Youth Festival


The China-United States Exchange Foundation co-hosted a special gathering of young people in Southeast China's city Fuzhou in June.

Bond with Kuliang: 2024 China-U.S. Youth Festival was opened on June 24 by representatives from government and non-governmental organizations, as well as cultural figures including American mezzo soprano, Carla Canales.

On June 25, CUSEF President James Chau moderated a town hall that positioned the voice of youth front and centre and connected these to global issues, from climate action to global health, to tolerance and understanding.

The speakers were Dr. Chris Oniya, faculty at the University of International Business and Economics, Yang Wanyi, current student of the School of International Relations at Peking University, and Koen Smeets, a Yenching scholar and podcast host from the Netherlands.

The panelists represent three unique voices from the U.S., China, and the Netherlands. Their work embodies the CUSEF mission of encouraging open communication and dialogue, especially amongst youth thinkers. The CUSEF Town Hall almost demonstrates CUSEF's renewed commitment to facilitate exchange between the U.S. and China, as well as other countries given that U.S.-China relations have an impact globally.

A platform was not only given to the three panelists, but as with the nature of a town hall, the audience.

Recent Princeton graduate and New York University master's student, Jamie, highlighted the importance of being open-minded when it comes to China-U.S. relations among the backdrop of current tensions. Current University of Pennsylvania student Natasha also highlighted cultural similarities, "we all want the same things even though we have our differences… (we) are ultimately chasing happiness."

A team of physicians from the U.S. discussed their experience collaborating with doctors at Peking Union Medical College Hospital, pointing out the different approaches to medicine. "Although we have the same goal of making patients better… there is a difference in terms of how we approach that…how we look at prevention versus actual treatment," Dr. Charles Yu, an orthopaedic spine surgeon from New Orleans, Louisiana, said.

Healthcare is an example of where there can be cross-cultural learning between the U.S. and China to improve the quality of life across the globe and work towards the UN goal of universal health coverage. Events like this carried out by CUSEF and organizations alike have long aimed to harbor open communication between countries in order to foster cross-cultural exchange for the betterment of society.