Cameroonian student explores China, sees potential to boost exchanges

BEIJING, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) — For 29-year-old Joseph Olivier Mendo’o from Cameroon, the best places to understand China and Chinese culture are villages and counties.

Mendo’o, a PhD candidate at School of International Studies of Peking University, has left his footprints in many remote areas of Chinese provinces such as Hebei, Shanxi and Guizhou since he came to the country five years ago.

He and other representatives of foreign participants at the Global Young Leaders Dialogue (GYLD) wrote a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping, talking about their trips across China and expressed the hope of serving as a bridge to promote exchanges and dialogues between the country and the rest of the world.

“Happiness must be achieved through hard work,” Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, wrote in his reply to 36 representatives of young foreign participants at the GYLD.

“In Africa, we also have similar sayings,” Mendo’o said. “During my tours, I saw the local Chinese work really hard and strive for happiness. They want to alleviate poverty and live a better life.”

He said it was “a beautiful surprise” receiving a reply from Xi, who hailed them for their efforts to visit various parts of China and deepen their understanding of the country.

More overseas youths are welcome to China for exchanges, Xi said in the letter, expressing his hope that young people at home and abroad will enhance mutual understanding, develop friendship and achieve mutual success, thus contributing to the building of a community with a shared future for humanity.

Mendo’o said his knowledge about China was “shallow” before he set foot in this country. He, however, learned a lot through hands-on experience.

He used to practice Mandarin every morning with his first group of Chinese friends — the elderly who worked out at the parks. And by exchanging ideas and getting together with his Chinese classmates, he came to understand more about the lives and pursuit of young Chinese and noticed “a sense of community” among them.

To learn more about China, Mendo’o went to the countryside.

In July, he was among youth representatives from 13 African countries who visited Xingxian County, a once deeply-impoverished county in north China’s Shanxi Province, to learn about China’s poverty-alleviation efforts.

Mendo’o said he learned that the Chinese government has explored many ways to reduce poverty and motivate people to pull themselves out of suffering. The officials and villagers really trust each other.

His research focuses on China-Africa relations and regional integration. He often attends various youth forums to share his educational knowledge and experience in China and exchanges views with scholars from different backgrounds.

For Mendo’o, young people can play an important role in facilitating dialogue between China and African countries and make up for the gap in understanding.

“Through various visits, young foreigners can learn about the real China. In the same way, Chinese can learn about the world through us,” he said.

Mendo’o believes practical exchanges will foster mutual understanding, and youth exchanges should be raised to a new level.

“Only through sincere and down-to-earth exchanges can we face future challenges together,” he said.

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3 comments

  1. at least he want to understand if there exist something outside the cage called democracy.but after understanding he must join us in the farm,if not it is of no use.in a world controlled by capital,if you don’t have then there is no possibility of collaboration with others because you have nothing to offer.our emancipation goes through the farm.it is step one,we cant skip this step because it is the foundation of capital accumulation,then industrilization and modernization.one comes after the other,intelligent well though agriculture oriented towards high yield short season crops mechanized gives birth to industry,manufacturing in particular.it is this stage that is called industrilization which then generates wealth to modernise the whole society.

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    • without money generated from manufacturing industries,we cant have money to import heavy equipement to upgrade industrial production in oder win hold and monopolise market shear in domains needing skilled workers so higher wages and improve standards of living.neither will we have money to build above world class public infastructure like roads,railway systems canals,a public housing system base on our values.not the caucasian model where people pay cheap rents for appartments but a system where people own the appartments funded by public industries.house ownership in cities should be above 98%and 100% in villages.there are some anglo americanized theoricians who say we can skip manufacturing directly to the so called numeric economy.as shocking as it is they seem to be serious.

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      • i do not see NGWA FRU,MBAH KWA or OMOTOLA writing softwear for a company but i see them working in a cloothing or footwear factory .it is not possible to absorb the masses with jobs in the so called numeric servive sector.by the way what will they be servicing of there is no manufacturing industry?this is a scientific process of economic transformation.once administration publish all my comments you will see why i said this.