News / Asia

Beijing Scholarship to Promote Understanding of China

American billionaire Stephen Schwarzman announces scholarship bearing his name at a ceremony in Beijing's Great Hall of the People, April 21, 2013.
American billionaire Stephen Schwarzman announces scholarship bearing his name at a ceremony in Beijing's Great Hall of the People, April 21, 2013.
Supporters of a new scholarship for international students at Beijing's prestigious Tsinghua University say they are backing the program in the hope that it will produce future world leaders with a better understanding of China.

American billionaire investor Stephen Schwarzman announced the scholarship bearing his name at a ceremony Sunday in Beijing's Great Hall of the People. The Tsinghua program will fund one-year master's degrees for 200 students, almost half of them Americans, beginning in 2016. The scholars will take immersion classes in Chinese culture and language before enrolling in public policy and international relations courses.

International energy giant BP is donating $25 million of the $300 million cost of the scholarship program. As the lead sponsor, it said the program will enable future leaders to interact with prominent political, business and academic figures "with the vision of fostering greater understanding and more meaningful dialogue between China and the world."

Schwarzman is donating $100 million of his own wealth to the program, which is modeled on the century-old Rhodes scholarship that brings international students to Britain's Oxford University.

Speaking to U.S. television network CBS, he said the goal of his scholarship is to ease international tensions that may arise as China's economic growth outpaces those of Western powers in the coming years.

"The center of the world's economy is moving to Asia much more than it used to be in 1902, when it was more in the U.S. and Europe, when the Rhodes [scholarship] was established," said Schwarzman. "And I think that bringing students to China is an essential part of their education. China is no longer an elective course, it is really core curriculum."

Two-thirds of the funding will come from private donations, including those made by U.S. corporate giants Bank of America, Boeing, Caterpillar and JPMorgan Chase. All of the major corporate donors have significant investments in China.

Caterpillar said it has contributed $1 million to the scholarship. It said the program will highlight the "importance of [China's] economy to the rest of the world," and create links between Caterpillar and alumni "who could someday be an employee or a customer."

Schwarzman's private equity company Blackstone Group also invests in China's real estate market and is part-owned by Chinese state-run wealth fund China Investment Corp. Foreign investors in China traditionally have won favor with Chinese leaders by donating to schools, disaster relief and clean energy projects.

The scholarship's board includes prominent international figures such as former prime ministers Tony Blair of Britain and Kevin Rudd of Australia, former French president Nicholas Sarkozy, and former U.S. Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.

Kissinger said the scholarship can promote a peaceful world and a healthy global economy by fostering close relationships, understanding and communication.

"The Schwarzman Scholars Program is designed to broaden cultural understanding between China and the rest of the world," said Kissinger. "Only through first-hand experience can one really understand China - its culture, people, influences and motivations. Schwarzman scholars will inform a new class of leaders that are better prepared to face global challenges."

Kissinger helped to open U.S. relations with China in the early 1970s as a senior member of the Nixon administration.

Michael Lipin

Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid