ANC Story - ANC facilitated a Sino-US youth sports exchange with US Embassy of Beijing
In 2011, ANC facilitated a Sino-US youth sport and cultural exchange with US Embassy of Beijing. ANC brough together 20 Chinese youth and 15 American gymnasts who have been traveling together and learning about each other’s cultures. The US gymnasts on this trip had the opportunity to train with Chinese gymnasts at the National Training Center and Sports Schools in both Beijing and Shanghai. The relationships developed this summer formed the basis for ongoing exchanges through sport with ANC. ANC worked to partner with the State Department and US Embassy in Beijing to facilitate the exchanges.
The Sports United program and other cultural exchange programs through the state department have goals that are consistent with the goals of ANC-Consulting is in a unique position to help facilitate regular exchanges between China and the US. For more information, please visit US Embassy blog.
ANC Sino-US Youth Sports and Culture Exchange Press Conference
Speaker: Athena Kway
Public Diplomacy Officer of US Embassy Beijing
It is often said that there is no more important relationship in the world today than the U.S.-China relationship. No matter what issue, from the environment, global health, and trade, to international peace and stability, both the United States and China play an integral role and working together they can be a catalyst for success. The U.S.-China relationship is one that both President Hu and President Obama have made a very important part of each of our nation’s foreign policy in the 21st century. It is not only, however, our two governments that will shape the relationship. Leaders are on the stage for a period of time, but the people endure. And the people’s relationships are what will give the China-U.S. relationships a very strong foundation going into the future.
Through people-to-people exchanges -- be it academic study, tourism, cultural programs, or professional exchanges – average citizens from both countries gain a deeper understanding of each other’s society, culture, and values -- an understanding that cannot be achieved through seeing a movie or surfing the web, but through direct interaction on a personal level.
Many of you undoubtedly know this story I’m about to tell, but it underscores the power of exchanges, especially sports. Forty years ago at the World Table Tennis Championships in Japan, Glenn Cowan, a member of the American team rushed to board a bus from the practice hall to the tournament. He missed the U.S. bus and mistakenly got on to the bus carrying the Chinese team. None of the Chinese players said anything, but from the back of the bus, Zhuang Zedong, a three-time world champion, emerged with a smile and a gift for Cowan. This initial encounter lead to a visit of the U.S. ping pong team to China and it was “ping pong diplomacy” that paved the way for the re-establishment of relations between the United States and China. So not just exchanges, but sports exchanges have had a long history of bringing both countries together.
There are many other instances where sports have played a role in U.S.-China relations, including China’s magnificent hosting of the Beijing Olympics and the Special Olympics that followed in Shanghai. Both countries have a love of sports and whether it’s for friendly competition, exercise, or a pure love of the game, sports bring people together like no other activity.
Each year the United States and China hold a high-level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange or CPE as we call it in the Government. The CPE aims to enhance and strengthen ties between the citizens of the United States and China in many areas, including sports, education, culture, science and technology and women's issues. Sports diplomacy is one of the key elements of this engagement and both sides are cooperating in several areas including coaching practices, youth sports programs, disability inclusive sports, and many others.
These U.S. Government programs and others such as this one sponsored by ANC Consulting allow numerous Chinese and Americans to meet professional counterparts, develop new skills, and acquire new knowledge, exchange perspectives, learn about each other’s values and generous spirit, and most importantly have a bit of fun in the process. Over the past two weeks, the young students and athletes who have participated in this program have had an opportunity to listen, challenge and learn from one another.Gymnastics is a sport in which both the U.S. and China have excelled on the world stage. In the words of Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Judith McHale, spirited competition needs no translation. May this be the first of many exchanges that will turn our mutual appreciation for athletic achievement into mutual respect for the unique history and culture of both our countries.