On the 12th of August, Gaston Chee joined a round table discussion at the headquarters of the Center for China and Globalisation (CCG) in Beijing. He was invited as a member of the Global Young Leaders Dialogue (GYLD), the distinguished platform for young achievers with diverse professional and regional backgrounds including diplomacy, business, education and academic research. Also in attendance were the Chinese government representatives and representatives of various and local and regional private and public organizations including the UN and various diplomatic and economics staff from local embassies including the Netherlands, Germany, Cuba, Indonesia and Colombia.
The GYLD organises events and tours across China and an annual Forum where members discuss shared values such as open and equal dialogue, intellectual exchange, inclusive and mutual learning on global issues including globalization, global governance, technology and innovation, dialogue among civilizations, sustainable and inclusive development and public health and wellbeing.
The Round table session was jointly organized by the Center for China and Globalisation (CCG), the Academy of Contemporary China and World Studies (ACCWS) to discuss topics ranging from the roles of young voices in advancing SDGs and other global governance solutions to foreign expats’ perspectives on China’s global talent acquisition and development.
The CCG aims to develop a community to drive positive cross-cultural dialogue and has built an international research network of leading experts in China and overseas. In addition to cultivating research talent, CCG also invites leading experts from policy, business, think tanks, and academia to advise on research and development.
One of the main highlights of the session was a reply letter from President Xi addressed to the GYLD in a response to the letter the GYLD sent to President Xi to show support for building cultural and communication bridges between China and to share their experiences and thoughts during their latest GYLD China Tours.
In his letter to the foreign representatives of the Global Young Leaders Dialogue (GYLD), President Xi expressed his appreciation for their active visits to various parts of China to deepen their understanding of the country. He said how youth is the time of dream but shared the centuries-old wisdom of China that it takes hard work and sweat to realise the dream.
To be happy is to struggle…Communist Party of China has gone through a century of struggle, but our original aspirations and dreams have become stronger over time.
President Xi continued to emphasize that China will work tirelessly to realize the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and to promote the development and progress of mankind.”
President Xi welcomed more international youths to come to China for exchanges, and hope that Chinese and foreign youths will enhance mutual understanding, gain friendship and grow together through mutual learning, and contribute their youth to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. (Full content of President Xi’s letter is available here).
During his remarks at the event, Gaston Chee shared how coming to China as an investor and in seeing the hard-working young and multi-lingual local talents and returnees, he said that he discovered a China that offered him not just a wonderful business and investment opportunity but also personal fulfilment and happiness. Echoing President Xi’s statement, he said that his experiences are reminiscent of the culture of hard work and perseverance that is so intertwined in the history of China and the CPC, which also encapsulates his entrepreneurial journey in China.
I think there are two things I give China credit for – the welcome with which he is received and the rare luxury of stability and safety that we take for granted.” Again, borrowing from President Xi’s definition of what it means to be “blessed – 幸福” – i.e. succeeding with hard work – he said he has been truly blessed.
Gaston then shared how China’s openness and encouraging policies and practices encouraged business founders like himself to set up operations in China. He said this has given him the unique opportunity through his work to engage in a people exchange with China and even beyond.
Speaking to China Daily after the session, Gaston Chee emphasized how despite all the clamour, there is a huge and growing opportunity for expats and professionals in China. “Having grown up in Malaysia, and studied and successfully set-up venture-led companies in the UK, my experience in the transition to China is a huge credit to the simplicity of doing business in China and the excellent business infrastructure the country has built over the years. “When I travelled to China in 2012, I was impressed with the excitement of the country in doing business with the world. that I made it a mission to be the bridge between China and the rest of the world, which is something that has become one of the core values of all our operations ever since” Interviews China Daily
“We set-up a head office in Beijing and acquired BeGo in 2014, which is one of our full acquisitions by our UK-based firm, LC Venture. LC Venture is a business advisory and consultancy firm that supports China-UK business exchanges. BeGo supports Chinese parents with their children’s education goals and applications to international schools in China and abroad and leading university applications in the UK and US. In his parting message, Gaston thanked the organisers of the round table session for their invitation and challenged all youth for a journey to experience the real story of China, not just the present glamour, but the country’s past and its struggles that made possible the China we see today.
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LC Venture is a leading consultancy and advisory holding company registered in the UK. The company provides quality advice on strategy and business solutions to Chinese and international clients which are mainly SMEs, multinational companies, and governments. The Company is also the investor in BeGo Education, a wholly-owned investment portfolio of LC Venture. BeGo Education operates a bespoke international education consultancy to supports Chinese families find a suitable international education pathway for their children in international schools in China or abroad in the UK and other destinations.