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.