Confucius Institute at Webster University hosts CHINA Town Hall featuring Condoleezza Rice

Oct. 11, 2018

Events were held at over 100 venues across the U.S., including Webster's Gateway campus in downtown St. Louis
Events were held at over 100 venues across the U.S., including Webster's Gateway campus in downtown St. Louis, where the Confucius Institute at Webster was host.

On the evening of Oct. 9, the Confucius Institute at Webster University and the World Affairs Council of St. Louis co-hosted the nationwide CHINA Town Hall event, which featured a webcast with former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.

Students, community members, faculty, and staff gathered in the auditorium of Webster University’s Gateway Campus in downtown St. Louis to participate in this event, which also featured an in-person talk and Q&A session with China expert Joan Kaufman.

CHINA Town Hall is an annual event organized and hosted by the National Committee on U.S. China Relations. It took place this year in over 100 venues across the nation with the help of local partners.

During her webcast, former Secretary Rice spoke at length about a range of global issues impacting the U.S.-China relationship, from disputes over intellectual property to human rights violations to energy and pollution issues to policies regarding North Korea and Taiwan. When asked about the future of Chinese student visas to America, Secretary Rice affirmed her belief in student exchange: “I hope that educational visas from the US to China and China to the US will multiply. I am a very big believer in student exchange. I think we learn about countries not from books but by being there … I hope more of our students will take Chinese language and go and visit. I’ve been at the great Chinese universities—there are a lot of very good English speakers there. I hope that one day we’ll have as many good Chinese speakers here.”

Following Secretary Rice’s webcast, Joan Kaufman spoke to the Webster audience in person about China’s demographic situation from a public health perspective. Kaufman is currently the Director for Academic Programs with the Schwarzman Scholars Program, a master’s program based out of Tsinghua University in Beijing. She holds a doctorate in public health from Harvard. Kaufman also took many questions from the audience, drawing on both her academic knowledge and research and also her personal experiences of China.

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