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American, Chinese Students Anxiously Watch White House Talks

As Chinese President Hu Jintao visits Washington and talks with President Barack Obama, a younger generation is watching with great hopes for the future of the two countries’ relationship. KSMU’s Xiaowen Tan reports.

Aaron Kruse is a political science major at MSU, and he has his eye on this week’s headlines from Washington, D.C.

“In the coming years when the next generation starts to fill the rules and the current leaders, then we will have a need for people that understand each other for ties that exist, for ties that we can build now,” he said.

And some other students think a cultural link is very important. Tessa Bradford is also a political science major.

“We need to gain a better understanding of the culture differences between America and China. There are several significant differences that I think a lot of young people don’t necessarily understand,” she said.

Chinese students also have great hopes that the two powerful countries can have a stronger relationship in the future. Cheng Zhexiong is an international student from Liaoning, China. He’s studying international business management.

“As a student who studies in the business department, I’m thinking about maybe we shall work our best to develop a better way or a better system to work through the international business,” he said.

Dr. Dennis Hickey is the director of MSU’s graduate program in Global Studies, and a specialist on East Asia. He says the two countries are already working to improve relations, in part by targeting the younger generation.

“The best thing is to try to gain more of an understanding of the other side, and one of the positive things that isn’t in the news a lot but has occurred recently is that both governments have agreed to increase dramatically the number of students who are studying in each country,” he said.

Missouri State University is one of several universities with a thriving exchange program in China. It has just formalized plans for an exchange program between MSU’s graduate program and the program at People’s University in Beijing, which will begin this fall.

For KSMU News, I’m Xiaowen Tan.