Distinguished guests and delegates from over fifty countries attended the opening ceremony
Delegates awoke this morning, some only just arriving from their respective points of origin, abuzz with excitement about the start of the inaugural Yenching Global Symposium (YGS). Scholars and delegates alike have counted down to this flagship event of the Yenching Academy. The energy was palpable as participants filed in through the doors of the auditorium in anticipation of the morning’s opening and keynote speeches.
Laya Maheshwari, Chairman of the Symposium, opened the gathering with an eloquent address, in which he highlighted the significance of the Symposium to the Academy, the organizing committee and to all those involved in the process of making this three-day international conference a reality. Maheshwari shared that despite the limited time for preparation, with the support of Peking University and the Yenching Academy, the YGS brought together 200 delegates from 50 different countries.
Following Maheshwari’s address, the dean of the Yenching Academy, Professor Yuan Ming shared her impressions of the Symposium, noting a particularly distinguishing factor. She remarked that this event is “being shaped and brought together by students themselves” and imparted upon the participants her hopes for them to lead and innovate in their selected fields. The speech of Peking University Vice President, Li Yan Song, accentuated that only with “trust and mutual understanding can we build bridges between cultures” and the YGS contributes significantly to this goal. The closing speech of Fang Jun of the Ministry of Education revealed a positive statistic for the number of international students coming to China and he emphasized the importance of creating a people-to-people connection between nations.
As the opening ceremony came to a close, the delegates emerged for a coffee break, smiles in abundance, ready to embark on a journey to learn about China alongside the Yenching Scholars as they discover first-hand the numerous opportunities China holds for building international bridges across sectors.