HSS Freshman Speaks at China-ASEAN Youth Summit in Beijing
The 11th China-ASEAN Youth Camp and the 4th China-ASEAN Youth Summit was held in Beijing under the theme of “Uniting Youths, Inspiring Change: Paving the Way for a China-ASEAN Future” from October 22nd to 28th. As one of the 30 Chinese youth representatives, Zheng Diwen, a freshman of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), CUHK-Shenzhen, was elected as the sole Chinese youth representative to deliver a speech and vote at the revision conference of the China-ASEAN Youth Declaration.
The opening ceremony features the presence of Wu Wei, Deputy Secretary-General of the All-China Youth Federation, Liu Zhendong, Deputy Director of the Malaysian Ministry of Defense and Member of the Senate of Malaysia, Yang Xiuping, a senior diplomat and former China-ASEAN Center Secretary-General, and more than 160 student representatives from China, ASEAN and other countries. Through the Model ASEAN Conference and other activities, students were empowered to understand the obstacles and opportunities for China-ASEAN cooperation in various fields, jointly explore the development prospects of China-ASEAN collaboration, and propose their insights.
The final part of the summit was to elect one representative from each of the 10 ASEAN countries and China to deliver a speech and vote at the revision meeting of the China-ASEAN Youth Declaration. The Chinese representative was set to be selected from 30 students, mostly senior undergraduate, master, and even doctoral students from prestigious universities such as Tsinghua University, Peking University, Fudan University, Beijing Foreign Studies University, University of International Relations, and China Foreign Affairs University.
As for why she was recognized by the members of the Chinese delegation and elected to the representative of China, Zheng Diwen attributed it to the generous care of the brothers and sisters in the delegation, and her English improvisation speaking and stage performance abilities accumulated in classrooms and student club activities: "Before I made up my mind to raise my hand, I thought of this sentence: ‘If you try and fail is better than if you fail to try in fear of failure.' "
The most exciting moment for Zheng, who first stepped on an international arena, was to be able to speak for China with her strength. During the final discussion and voting on the declaration on 28th, one of the representatives proposed to delete the clauses promoting the Belt and Road Initiative in the provisions of the declaration, echoed by the other nine ASEAN countries. Zheng resolutely voted against it: "At that time, I felt enormous pressure, but even greater responsibility! In my eyes, the Belt and Road Initiative, as an important foreign policy of China in the new era, must not be removed because of prejudice. To this end, I argued for three rounds of negotiations and finally persuaded the representatives of the 10 ASEAN countries to unanimously keep the Belt and Road clauses in the Declaration." The Declaration will be submitted to the ASEAN headquarters and governments by the China-ASEAN Center, conveying the messages of 5 areas: regional security, economy and trade, innovation and technology, environmental resources and youth affairs. This declaration embodies the efforts and sweat of the delegates, and also expresses the sincere wishes of the representatives for the friendly relationship between China and ASEAN. Zheng's insistence made the voice of Chinese youth heard by the international community, which is the proudest thing of her.
The representatives of the 11 countries took a group photo with the traditional "ASEAN hand-shaking", Zheng Diwen (fourth from left )
The seven-day summit gathered representatives from different schools and countries to discuss ASEAN economics and finance, market integration, artificial intelligence and some other development issues, injecting young power into China-ASEAN international cooperation in sustainable development.
About China-ASEAN Youth Summit
The China-ASEAN Youth Summit was jointly sponsored by a group of Chinese and ASEAN students in Beijing who are concerned about China-ASEAN affairs and are keen to promote China-ASEAN regional cooperation through dialogue and exchanges. This annual summit began in 2016 and attracts more than 100 college students from China and East Asia to gather at Peking University to discuss the development prospects of China-ASEAN cooperation. Through the Model ASEAN Conference and the forum, they learned more about the obstacles and opportunities in China-ASEAN cooperation in various fields, and put forward their own opinions on this excellent communication platform.
The China-ASEAN Youth Camp is a national youth exchange brand project initiated by the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League in the name of the All-China Youth Federation. The project has been successfully held for 10 sessions since 2001, causing widespread influence among the youth of the ASEAN countries and greatly contributing to the exchange of youth between China and ASEAN.
Zheng Diwen performed Chinese folk music -- Bamboo Flute at the closing ceremony