Queen Rania in China - Day One

Queen highlights importance of friendship between China and Jordan, explores channels of co-operation between educational institutions and women organizations

September 05, 2007

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - Beijing) Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah lauded the spirit friendship between Jordan and China and the latter's achievements in education, as she explored, first-hand, a number of educational institutions, on the first day of a four-day working trip to the country, during which she also had the opportunity to look into possible means of co-operation between Jordanian and Chinese educational institutions and women organizations.

During her visit to Peking University, which was established in 1898 as the first national university of China, now catering for 46,074 students, Her Majesty toured a number of its faculties, including the Center for Chinese Studies and the College for International Relations.

Arriving at the University campus, Queen Rania was greeted by each of the University's Executive Vice-President and Dean of the Center, Dr. Ke Yang; the Center's Assistant Dean; the Deputy Dean of the College for International Relations, Dr. Yuan Ming and the Director of the Office of International Relations, Mr. Hingquan Li as well as a number of students. Her Majesty was then briefed on both the University's and the Center for Chinese Studies' programs and activities.

At the Center, Queen Rania, joined a group of international students in their language class, where she, too, learned a few Chinese words, before proceeding to the College for International Relations, which was officially founded in 1996 as the first such school set up in Chinese universities.

At the College, Queen Rania engaged in a candid discussion on the role of youth leadership in the world, with a group of students studying International Relations, who are also members of the University's Youth Leadership Model UN Association.

At the Q and A style session, which was facilitated by Dr. Ming, Queen Rania commended the youth for their efforts and their exposure to, and interest in, international issues dominating the world today, expressing her pride in the way in which they tackle such issues –with zeal and energy.

Later in the day, Her Majesty visited the United Arab Emirates Center for Arabic Language and Islamic Studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University, which is located in the heart of the Chinese capital city and was set up and financed by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan upon his visit to China in1990.

Upon her arrival, Queen Rania met with the Party Secretary, Professor Yang Xueyi, the Vice-President, Professor Zhong Mai-Sun, and other representatives at the University, including a number of students, where discussions focused on the work of the center as well as routes to fostering student exchange and the building of relations with Jordanian universities.

During the meeting, which was conducted in Arabic and Chinese, Queen Rania commended the staff and students of the Center for developing student exchange programs, noting that, as evident by the Chinese students studying the Arabic language, such programs help break the language barrier that exists between both peoples and reinforce the strong ties between China and the Arab world.

Asked by one of the students, what she feels is the most important thing in which the youth of today can contribute; Her Majesty's response was to help bridge the growing divide that exists between East and West.

She then joined around 200 students for a cultural performance of Arabic song and dance, including the traditional Arab Dabkeh dance, and poetry recitals performed by Chinese students, as one of the Center's activities implemented to promote Arabic culture, and as part of a wider program of study focused on teaching the Arabic language, Islamic research and studies, as well as the historic relations between China and Arab and Islamic countries. Following the performance, Queen Rania was presented with the University emblem.

In addition to education, strengthening ties between women’s organizations in China and Jordan was also on the Queen's agenda on her first day in the Chinese capital.

Her Majesty paid a visit to the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) where she met with Vice President, Madam Huang Chi Yi. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Federation: Director, Division of West Asia and Africa, Mrs. Song Wenyan; and the Director of the Foreign Affairs Department, Madam Long Jiangwen. Madam Huang Chi Yi spoke to the Queen about the organization's activities, as well as the existing Jordanian and Chinese women's cooperation channels.

Discussions also focused on Jordanian-Chinese relations and key issues relating to women in China and women in Jordan and their respective advancement and achievement.
Queen Rania highlighted that His Majesty King Abdullah always stresses the importance of finding new ways to strengthen the 30-year relationship between both countries and create partnerships in fields relevant to women in particular.

She added that Jordanian and Chinese women face the same challenges, and that Jordan looks to benefit from China's experience of women in the labor force.

Founded in 1949, the ACWF is a large organization dedicated to the advancement of Chinese women of all ethnic groups and from all walks of life. Its mission is to represent and to protect women’s rights and interests.

It is worth noting that in mid-December 2003, the General Federation of Jordanian Women (GFJW) organized a visit for an ACWF's delegation to come to Jordan. A number of meetings were set-up for them with a number of Jordanian women's associations seeking to strengthen and broaden areas of mutual cooperation, especially regarding issues which impact women all around the globe.