Readout of White House Drug Policy Deputy Director David K. Mineta’s Participation in a Veterans Substance Abuse Treatment Roundtable in Brooklyn, NY
Readout of White House Drug Policy Deputy Director David K. Mineta’s Participation in a Veterans Substance Abuse Treatment Roundtable in Brooklyn, NY
Washington, D.C. – Today, David K. Mineta, Deputy Director of Demand Reduction for National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), held a roundtable discussion at Phoenix House Career Academy in Brooklyn, New York with 30 – 40 veterans participating in various therapeutic communities. The participating veterans are past or current clients at approximately 12 different New York City-based substance abuse treatment programs.
Topics covered in today’s roundtable included the challenges and barriers veterans uniquely confront as they recover from addiction to alcohol and drugs, and deal with myriad of other issues, including housing, employment, and mental health disorders. Particular attention was given to the experiences of women veterans and their children and the need for specialty services.
“Supporting military personnel and their families is a top priority of the Obama Administration. The treatment providers who participated in the roundtable today provide examples of how evidence-based treatment programs tailored to the specific needs of all veterans, including their families, can help restore the lives of those who have made great sacrifices for our country,” said Deputy Director Mineta. “Recent data show about one in eight active-duty military personnel reported past-month illicit drug use, a trend largely driven by prescription drug abuse. An active-duty service member who doesn’t get the appropriate treatment will one day be a veteran with a substance abuse problem – which highlights the need for treatment options specifically targeted to the unique needs of veterans and their families.”
ONDCP is coordinating an unprecedented government-wide public health approach to reduce drug use and its consequences. This effort includes requesting an increase in funding for drug prevention by $203 million and treatment programs by $137 million dollars for Fiscal Year 2011, to train and engage primary health care to intervene in emerging cases of drug abuse, expand and improve specialty care for addiction—including veterans care and family-based treatment, and to better manage drug-related offenders in community corrections.
For more information on National efforts to reduce drug use and its consequences visit: www.WhiteHouseDrugPolicy.gov
The Office of National Drug Control Policy seeks to foster healthy individuals and safe communities by effectively leading the Nation’s effort to reduce drug use and its consequences.
Health Care Providers: What They’re Saying About the Affordable Care Act
As Congress considers legislation that would repeal the Affordable Care Act, it’s important to take a look at who is opposing repeal. Here’s what organizations representing doctors, nurses and health care providers are saying:
American Nurses Association
“…[W]e believe that a vote for repeal would be a devastating step backward.”
American Medical Association
“The AMA does not support initiatives to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Expanding health coverage, insurance market reforms, administrative simplifications and initiatives to promote wellness and prevention are key parts of the new law that reflect AMA priorities.”
American Academy of Family Physicians
“A repeal of all provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will return our health care system to its previous trends of unsustainable, increasing costs and ever-growing numbers of under- and uninsured Americans. It will have negative consequences on Americans’ access to needed health care for years to come.”
American College of Physicians
“ACP believes that Congress should preserve and – as necessary – improve on these and other important reforms created by the Affordable Care Act, not repeal them.”
Association of American Medical Colleges
“The nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals stand behind the Affordable Care Act. Ensuring that all Americans have health care coverage is a moral imperative for our nation, and enactment of the Affordable Care Act was an important step toward that goal.”
National Association of Community Health Centers
“From the perspective of community health, however, the new law moves our nation to the goal of more affordable and accessible health care for all people and we stand strongly in support of it.”
American Osteopathic Association
“The Affordable Care Act made fundamental and important changes in our health care system that will improve the health of our patients individually and our nation as a whole.”
Catholic Health Association
“On behalf of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), the national leadership organization of more than 2,000 Catholic health care systems, hospitals, long-term care facilities, sponsors, and related organizations, I strongly urge you to maintain support for efforts to improve and strengthen our nation’s health care system by opposing the legislation before the House to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).”
American Public Health Association
“Implementation of the Affordable Care Act is critical to addressing a number of the biggest challenges facing our health system including the escalating costs associated with our health care system, uneven quality and more than 100,000 deaths due to medical errors, discriminatory practices by health insurance providers and the shrinking ranks of the nation’s primary care providers. The enactment of the Affordable Care Act begins to shift our health system from one that focuses on treating the sick to one that focuses on keeping people healthy and addresses these challenges.”
Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum
“Almost 60 percent of Asian Americans receive health care coverage through their employers and the last thing we should be doing is weakening the ability of small business owners to provide quality health care to their employees. We must not place the interests of insurance companies ahead of small businesses, our communities, and our families. When insurance companies are free to pursue profit without accountability, people have fewer choices, fewer options, and little recourse. We can’t let that happen.”
Doctors for America
“As doctors, we see how our broken health care system is failing patients and health care providers. Passing and implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is an important first step to fixing a broken system, and we must continue to move forward. Repealing the health care reform law will only move our health care system backward – and millions of patients simply can’t afford that. We urge the new Congress to work with patients and providers to improve the health reform law so we can build a health care system that works for everyone.”
National Hispanic Medical Association
“NHMA supports the Affordable Care Act as it is a step forward in caring for the health of the underserved communities and all Americans. Investing in the health of Americans, our most valuable resource, is sound policy and a wise course of action when so many diseases are preventable and treatable. For this reason we ask you to cast a vote against H.R.2.”
State Legislators: What They’re Saying About the Affordable Care Act
As Congress considers legislation that would repeal the Affordable Care Act, it’s important to take a look at who is opposing repeal. Here’s what state legislators are saying:
Iowa State Senator Jack Hatch:
“Before they vote, they need to think about the Iowa mother who can now get coverage for her 3-year old son who has severe asthma, a pre-existing condition; the Iowa cancer survivor who now no longer has to worry his insurance company will cut off his coverage due to an arbitrary lifetime limit; and, the tens of thousands of young Iowa men and women who now can get coverage on their parents’ health care plan.”
Connecticut House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan and Rep. Betsy Ritter:
“We would like to thank Connecticut’s Congressional Delegation for standing up for quality, affordable health care for Connecticut’s working families. Under federal health reform, our constituents are already seeing better access to affordable care, an end to arbitrary lifetime limits on benefits and denials without a chance of appeal. In addition, our state is taking advantage of millions of new health care dollars for Medicaid and retiree health insurance. We stand behind our delegation as they stand up to the special interests and put Connecticut’s people before insurance industry profits.”
Arizona State Senator Kyrsten Sinema:
“I strongly urge every member of Arizona’s congressional delegation to stop the political games, stand up for Arizona families and vote against the Repealing Patients’ Rights Act.”
Nebraska State Senator Jeremy Nordquist:
“Any attempts to weaken or repeal the Affordable Care Act will eliminate the ability of Nebraskans to get the coverage and care they need. We must work to ensure that Nebraska families can keep their coverage if they like it, increase access for those who are unable to get the care they need, and to ensure that all Nebraska families can see a family doctor.”
Texas Representative Garnet F. Coleman:
“It’s telling that just weeks after taking office, Republicans in Congress have made it a priority to change current law to take away Americans’ healthcare rights and allow insurance companies to drop someone from coverage if they develop a catastrophic illness like cancer. The Republican repeal would add billions to our national deficit and would have very real and drastic consequences on Texas families.”
Texas Representative Rafael Anchia:
“Repeal of the Affordable Care Act would be a disaster for the people I represent in North Texas, and would be a very bad turn of events for all Texans. One in four families with children in my district lives in poverty, so my constituents need more access to affordable health insurance – not less.”
Minnesota Representative Tom Huntley:
“Every day, Minnesotans are coming to appreciate the Affordable Care Act more and more. Adult children are being offered coverage on their parents’ policy, seniors are getting help with the costly donut hole, and small businesses are adding jobs because the tax credit is helping them provide health coverage.”
Minnesota Representative Erin Murphy:
“Repealing the Affordable Care Act means repealing affordable coverage for Minnesotans with preexisting conditions like asthma or diabetes. It means repealing consumer protections that protects an insured family from unfair premium increases. It means bringing back the prescription drug donut hole that prices seniors citizens out of the prescription drugs they need to stay healthy… Repealing the Affordable Care Act represents a fatal step backwards and the consequence is a less stable, more costly health care system for Minnesotans.”
New York Assemblyman Felix Ortiz:
“Simply said, revoking the National Health Care Reform Act will make preventative health care non affordable at a time when it is most needed and when it makes the most sense for our country economically. We must provide the means to allow people to seek preventive health care in order to stop the explosive cost of caring for people in emergency settings.”
Washington State Senator Karen Keiser:
“For Washington State, going backward is not an option. For small businesses, seniors, families and our most vulnerable communities, we simply cannot afford repeal.”
New York Assemblyman Roberto Rodriguez:
“In the past few years we have taken great steps forward and overcome many barriers to finally enact Health Care Reform, it would be disgraceful to revoke this legislation which stands to benefit our citizens.”
North Dakota State Senator Tim Mathern:
“I use my time in the Legislature to make health care reform work for North Dakotans. All of us need to tell Congress to move on and give families freedom from the anxiety of medical cost bankruptcy and family stress from health care problems. Don’t repeal what we have – build on it to make it better.”
Maryland Delegate James W. Hubbard:
“I strongly urge every member of Maryland’s congressional delegation to stop the political games, stand up for Maryland families and vote against the Repealing Patients’ Rights Act. A repeal of the Patient Bill of Rights would mean:…41,465 Marylanders on Medicare would see significantly higher prescription drug costs… small businesses will once again have to pay higher rates for health insurance than big corporations… (and) adding hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit without creating a single job.”
Maryland Delegate Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk:
“If the bill is repealed, the State of Maryland would lose funding for several initiatives, including resources proposed to help limit health insurance premium increases, consumer assistance programs designed to protect our citizens from unscrupulous industry practices, planning for a health insurance exchange to provide low cost insurance, and assistance to 101 employers through the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program.”
Statement by the President on the Affordable Care Act
“Today, the American people have greater health security than they did a year ago. Because of the Affordable Care Act, Americans no longer have to live in fear that insurance companies will drop or cap their coverage if they get sick, or that they’ll face double-digit premium increases with no accountability or recourse. Small businesses across the country can take advantage of a new health care tax credit to offer coverage to their employees, and children suffering from an illness or pre-existing condition can no longer be denied coverage. Parents now can add their adult children up to age 26 to their health plans, and all Americans on new plans can access preventive care to keep them healthy with no additional out of pocket costs. Older Americans are seeing better benefits, lower prescription drug costs, and a stronger Medicare. And the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reports that improvements in health care delivery system as a result of this law will reduce federal deficits by over a trillion dollars in the next two decades.
So I’m willing and eager to work with both Democrats and Republicans to improve the Affordable Care Act. But we can’t go backward. Americans deserve the freedom and security of knowing that insurance companies can’t deny, cap, or drop their coverage when they need it the most, while taking meaningful steps to curb runaway health care costs.”
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA AND PRESIDENT HU JINTAO OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA AT OFFICIAL ARRIVAL CEREMONY
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA
AND PRESIDENT HU JINTAO
OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
AT OFFICIAL ARRIVAL CEREMONY
9:20 A.M. EST
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good morning, everyone. President Hu, members of the Chinese delegation, on behalf of Michelle and myself, welcome to the White House. And on behalf of the American people, welcome to the United States.
Three decades ago, on a January day like this, another American President stood here and welcomed another Chinese leader for the historic normalization of relations between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. On that day,
Deng Xiaoping spoke of the great possibilities of cooperation between our two nations.
Looking back on that winter day in 1979, it is now clear. The previous 30 years had been a time of estrangement for our two countries. The 30 years since have been a time of growing exchanges and understanding. And with this visit we can lay the foundation for the next 30 years.
At a time when some doubt the benefits of cooperation between the United States and China, this visit is also a chance to demonstrate a simple truth. We have an enormous stake in each other’s success. In an interconnected world, in a global economy, nations — including our own — will be more prosperous and more secure when we work together.
The United States welcomes China’s rise as a strong, prosperous and successful member of the community of nations. Indeed, China’s success has brought with it economic benefits for our people as well as yours, and our cooperation on a range of issues has helped advance stability in the Asia Pacific and in the world.
We also know this: History shows that societies are more harmonious, nations are more successful, and the world is more just, when the rights and responsibilities of all nations and all people are upheld, including the universal rights of every human being.
Mr. President, we can learn from our people. Chinese and American students and educators, business people, tourists, researchers and scientists, including Chinese Americans who are here today —- they work together and make progress together every single day. They know that even as our nations compete in some areas, we can cooperate in so many others, in a spirit of mutual respect, for our mutual benefit.
What Deng Xiaoping said long ago remains true today. There are still great possibilities for cooperation between our countries. President Hu, members of the Chinese delegation, let us seize these possibilities together. Welcome to the United States of America. Hwan-ying. (Applause.)
PRESIDENT HU: (As translated.) Mr. President, Mrs. Obama, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, it gives me great pleasure to come to Washington and pay a state visit to the United States at the beginning of the new year, at the invitation of President Obama. At this point in time, let me extend, on behalf of the 1.3 billion Chinese people, sincere greetings and best wishes to the people of the United States.
I have come to the United States to increase mutual trust, enhance friendship, deepen cooperation, and push forward the positive, cooperative, and comprehensive China-U.S. relationship for the 21st century.
Over the past 32 years, since the establishment of diplomatic ties, the China-U.S. relationship has grown into one with strategic significance and global influence. Since President Obama took office, with concerted efforts of the two sides, our cooperation in various fields has produced fruitful results and our relations have achieved new progress. This has brought real benefits to our two peoples, and contributed greatly to world peace and development.
As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, the people of both China and the United States want to see further progress in our relations and people around the globe want to see greater prosperity in the world. Under the new circumstances, and in the face of new challenges, China and the United States share broad common interests and important common responsibilities.
We should adopt a long-term perspective, seek common ground while resolving differences, and work together to achieve sustained, sound, and steady development of our relations. I hope that through this visit, our two countries will advance the positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship, and open a new chapter in our cooperation as partners.
Our cooperation as partners should be based on mutual respect. We live in an increasingly diverse and colorful world. China and the United States should respect each other’s choice of development path and each other’s core interests. We should deepen mutual understanding through communication, increase mutual trust through dialogue, and expand common ground through exchanges.
Our cooperation as partners should be based on mutual benefit. China’s future and destiny are increasingly tied to those of the world and China-U.S. relations have become closer. Our two countries should seek to learn from each other through exchanges and achieve win-win progress through cooperation. This is the right approach for us to develop our relations.
Our cooperation as partners should be based on joint efforts to meet challenges. China and the United States should step up communication and coordination in international affairs, work together to counter the global challenges, and make a greater contribution to world peace and development.
Our cooperation as partners should be based on the extensive involvement of the people. The Chinese and American people cherish deep friendship towards each other, and they fought side by side at defining moments in history when the future and the destiny of mankind were at stake. The two peoples should extend exchanges and enhance friendship. This will offer a inexhaustible driving force for the growth of our relations.
Ladies and gentlemen, our world today is undergoing major development, major changes and major adjustments. To pursue peace, development and cooperation is the irresistible trend of our time. Let us seize the opportunity to forge ahead, hand in hand, and work together to enhance cooperation as partners, and let us work with all other countries to build a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity.
Thank you once again, Mr. President, for your warm welcome. (Applause.)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you very much. Thank you.
FACT SHEET: U.S.-China Economic Issues
The United States and China share one of the most important trade and economic relationships in the world. The U.S. exports $100 billion of goods and services to China, making China our largest trading partner after Canada and Mexico. Those exports support more than half a million U.S. jobs. China’s GDP growth is expected to have reached 10 percent in 2010, and U.S. goods and services exports to China are growing almost two times as fast as overall U.S. goods and services exports. We seek to base our relationship on mutual prosperity, respect for the rules-based trading system, and a deep commitment to resolve outstanding economic issues. President Obama and President Hu took note of the following commitments to strengthen the U.S.-China trade and economic relationship.
Strengthening Intellectual Property Rights Protection
China committed to strengthen intellectual property rights enforcement to protect innovative industries and the jobs they create.
- Private sector experts suggest decreasing China’s software piracy rate by 50 percent could increase legitimate software sales by $4 billion. The United States supports China’s commitment to assess and ensure its government’s use of legal software, by, among other measures, 1) allocating government budget funding for legal software purchases, 2) auditing the use of legal software and publishing the results of those audits, and 3) promoting the use of licensed software in private companies and in state owned enterprises through software asset management programs.
- The United States welcomed China’s agreement to hold accountable violators of intellectual property on the internet, including those who facilitate the counterfeiting and piracy of others, and to strengthen IPR protections in China’s libraries. China has also agreed to clarify the IPR liabilities of relevant third parties, like landlords, managers, and operators of markets that sell counterfeit products.
Eliminating Discriminatory Innovation Policies
- The United States and China committed that 1) government procurement decisions will not be made based on where the goods’ or services’ intellectual property is developed or maintained, 2) that there will be no discrimination against innovative products made by foreign suppliers operating in China, and 3) China will delink its innovation policies from its government procurement preferences.
- China agreed to eliminate discriminatory “indigenous innovation” criteria used to select industrial equipment for an important government catalogue prepared by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, to ensure that it will not be used for import substitution, the provision of export subsidies, or to discriminate against American equipment manufacturers in Chinese government programs targeting these products.
- The United States welcomed China’s commitment to let its “3G” third generation and future technologies develop free of discriminatory technology or standards preferences. China’s 3G infrastructure investment is expected to reach $10 to $12 billion in 2011.
- The United States supports China’s commitment to allow foreign companies equal opportunities to participate in the development of the country’s “smart” electric power grid. China committed that purchases of smart grid products and technologies will be made solely on commercial considerations with no discrimination against foreign companies. China also will ensure that foreign stakeholders have full opportunities to participate in an open, transparent process for establishing smart grid standards. China also committed to make purchases solely on commercial considerations. China plans to spend $10 billion annually on smart grid investments.
Expanding Market Access for U.S. Manufactured Goods, Agricultural Products and Services
China committed to submit this year a robust revised offer to join the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA).
- China committed that its revised GPA offer would include not just commitments for central government purchases, but also purchases by sub-central entities. The Chinese central government has indicated that it alone procures more than $88 billion in goods and services annually; sub-central entities’ procurement is even more significant.
The United States and China are building on their successful and growing agricultural trade relationship. U.S. agricultural exports to China last year exceeded $12 billion, including soybeans, cotton, and wheat.
- The United States welcomed China’s December 2010 lifting of Avian influenza-related bans on U.S. poultry products from Idaho and Kentucky, and urged prompt action to lift the four remaining U.S. state-level bans.
FACT SHEET: U.S.–China Commercial Relations
China is a key market for U.S. exports. Those exports are generating jobs in every corner of the United States and across every major sector. These involve some of our country’s largest companies, but also an increasing number of small and medium-sized enterprises.
In preparation for this visit, several large purchases have been approved including for 200 Boeing airplanes valued at $19 billion. In addition, the Chinese government has indicated that its companies signed 70 contracts for $25 billion in U.S. exports from 12 states. These included sectors ranging from auto parts to agriculture, machinery to chemicals. In addition, 11 investment contracts were signed worth $3.24 billion. Additional, transactions were announced or showcased, exceeding $13.1 billion in total value with approximately $987.8 million in U.S. export content. These deals worth over $45 billion in increased exports will help support an estimated 235,000 jobs in the United States. These cross-border collaborations, both public and private, underpin the expanding U.S.-China commercial partnership, contributing to economic growth and development in both countries. A number of these transactions highlight the increased collaboration in such areas as clean energy and green technologies. Examples of some of the deals associated with this visit include:
- Boeing Airplane Sales: China’s agreement to approve airline contracts for 200 orders covers aircraft to be delivered over a three-year period, 2011-2013. The approval, the final step in a $19B package of aircraft, will help Boeing maintain and expand its market share in the world’s fastest growing commercial aircraft market. Including 737s and 777s, the agreement help supports more than 100,000 American jobs, including those in Boeing and its suppliers throughout the U.S.
- General Electric –China Ministry of Railways (MOR) Letter of Intent on High Speed Rail Technology Transfer and Purchasing Rolling Stock and Signaling Equipment: The Chinese Ministry of Rail (MOR) and General Electric (GE) have signed a letter of intent expanding upon an existing strategic partnership to bring Chinese high-speed rail technology to the United States. GE and China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corporation Limited (CSR) plan to form a joint venture in the United States to manufacture high- and medium-speed electric multiple unit trains. GE estimates that new business generated by the HSR JV could support up to 3,500 jobs in the United States. GE also will agree to manufacture locomotives for China and will provide components for 500 or more locomotives. The LOI will support efforts to capture new business opportunities valued at up to $1.4 billion with an estimated $360 million in U.S. export content, supporting up to 200 GE Transportation jobs.
- Navistar Inc.– JAC Truck and Engine Joint Ventures: Navistar has announced central Chinese government approval for a $400 million, 50-50 joint venture with the state-owned Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Company (JAC). Navistar will export services and parts to be used in the manufacture of diesel engines and commercial trucks. The JV will develop, manufacture, market, and sell heavy duty trucks and light to medium/heavy duty engines, primarily in China. The joint venture will be based in Hefei City, Anhui Province. Once production begins, Navistar anticipates that many components will be sourced from the United States. Direct U.S. exports during the first year of the joint venture are estimated at $15 million, but are forecast to grow significantly over the next five years as production increases. Navistar estimates the net employment benefit of the joint ventures to the United States economy at 200 jobs in the United States, mainly in the field of engineering and other services.
- General Electric-Shenhua Gasification Joint Venture: GE and China Shenhua Energy Company Limited (Beijing, China) have formed a joint venture company in order to combine GE’s expertise in gasification and cleaner power generation technologies with Shenhua’s expertise in building and operating gasification and power generation facilities. The joint venture will seek to advance cleaner coal technology solutions for industrial chemicals, fuels, and power generation. GE estimates approximately $150 million in U.S. exports over the first five years of the joint venture, mainly related to technology licensing, engineering, and R&D support. Additionally, the joint venture has potential to generate $1.5 to 2.5 billion in U.S. exports over the long term.
- General Electric-Huadian Joint Collaboration Agreement on Decentralized Energy Combined Heat and Power Projects: General Electric is signing a Joint Collaboration Agreement with China Huadian Engineering Co., Ltd for cooperation on Decentralized Energy Combined Heat and Power (DECHP). This agreement will be a binding agreement to develop, market, and sell DECHP generators, an efficient alternative to coal-fired power plants. GE estimates that at least 50 DECHP gas turbine generator sets will be sold in China in the next ten years, resulting in $500 million in sales and $350 million in U.S. export content, supporting over 200 jobs in the United States.
- Cummins Hybrid Bus Development and Commercialization: Cummins, Inc (Cummins; Columbus, Indiana) and Zhengzhou Yutong Bus Compay, (Yutong; Zhengzhou, China) have negotiated an agreement to jointly develop and commercialize hybrid power systems for the Chinese bus market. Cummins is presently a supplier to Yutong, and hopes to increase its penetration of the Chinese market by jointly developing and producing a hybrid bus primarily for the Chinese market. Cummins estimates a potential for over $500 million in annual sales. This will be the first partnership of its kind involving Cummins hybrid power systems and a major vehicle manufacturer. Cummins claims that up to 500 jobs could be created in the U.S. related to production, sales, and service of hybrid systems for commercial vehicles for the U.S. and Chinese markets. Cummins also expects an annual savings of 21,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.
- General Electric-AVIC Avionics Joint Venture Agreement: GE and AVIC will sign an agreement to form a new joint venture company to market globally advanced avionics systems for future commercial aircraft. The GE-AVIC joint venture is expected to support 300 high-tech jobs in Michigan and Florida.
- UPC Management Wind Power Agreements: UPC Management, LLC (UPC) is a Miami, Florida based wind power developer, having interests in 24 sites in 12 Chinese provinces. The company has negotiated a Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA) with the China Guo Dian Corporation (CGD), which develops, builds, operates, and distributes electricity and heat. Under the SFA, CGD and UPC will form ventures leading to the establishment of wind power generation joint ventures. The total value of the SFA investments could reach $1.5 billion, of which UPC will invest up to $735 million.
- Honeywell—Haier Group Memorandum of Understanding for Global Strategic Cooperation:Honeywell International Inc., headquartered in Morris Township, New Jersey (Honeywell), entered into an agreement with Haier Group (Haier) to collaborate on the development and promotion of low-emission, high energy-efficiency products and solutions. Honeywell estimates the total value of the five-year MOU at $53 million per annum, or $265 million and U.S. export content at $42 million per annum, or $210 million.
- LP Amina MOU with Beijing Energy: LP Amina, environmental engineering company headquartered in Novi, Michigan, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Beijing Energy to sell de-nitrification engineering, equipment and other potential environmental and boiler efficiency improvement solutions. This MOU creates a framework for potential long-term cooperation to reduce emissions and improve efficiency across Beijing Energy’s power plant facilities in China.
- LanzaTech–Bao Steel Joint Venture to Build an Ethanol Plant: LanzaTech Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of LanzaTech New Zealand, headquartered in Roselle, Illinois (LanzaTech), and Bao Steel Group Corporation (Bao Steel), will conclude a Contractual Joint Venture Contract for the construction and operation of a demonstration ethanol production facility in China. The facility will utilize waste flue gas from Bao Steel’s Shanghai steel mill as feed stock and LanzaTech proprietary gas fermentation technology to produce ethanol.
- LanzaTech– Wuhan Kaidi General Research Institute of Engineering and Technology Company Limited Ethanol Production Letter of Intent: LanzaTech Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of LanzaTech New Zealand, headquartered in Roselle, Illinois (LanzaTech), and Wuhan Kaidi General Research Institute of Engineering and Technology Company Limited (Wuhan), will conclude a Letter of Intent for the construction and operation of a demonstration ethanol production facility in China. The facility will utilize Wuhan supplied waste biomass synthesis gas as feed stock and LanzaTech proprietary gas fermentation technology to produce ethanol.
- MVP RV — Winston Battery Limited Recreational Vehicle MOU: MVP RV (MVP; Riverside, California) is a privately-held U.S. company that produces self-powered and trailer Recreational Vehicles. The company has an existing distributor relationship with privately-held Winston Battery Limited (Winston; Shenzhen, China). Winston, through the proposed MOU, plans a major capital injection into MVP RV in the amount of $310 million to promote motor home exports to China. Additionally, Winston Battery Limited will provide capital for the development of all-electric recreation vehicles and charging systems. The goal is to export over 10,000 Class A (self-powered, bus-sized) motor homes and 20,000 Class C (self-powered, van-sized) motor homes to China in the next 3-4 years. MPV estimates the value of these exports to be over $5 billion. The MOU specifies the intention to export vehicles to China through Winston and the eventual incorporation of an all-electric powertrain to future vehicles.
- Caterpillar Inc. – Caterpillar China Investment Co. Ltd. Business Agreement: Caterpillar (Peoria, Illinois) and Caterpillar China Investment Co. Ltd. – a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar – will sign an agreement under which $1.4 billion in U.S.-manufactured mining and construction equipment, and diesel and gas turbine engines will be shipped to China. The intra-company sale will support approximately 7,567 jobs in the United States.
- LP Amina MOU with Yixing Union Congregation Co. Ltd: LP Amina, a multinational environmental engineering company headquartered in Novi, Michigan, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Yi Xing Union Congregation Co., Ltd, a Chinese energy and chemical company. The MOU will formalize plans in advance of an expected contract signing, which will establish a collaborative pilot project to demonstrate LP Amina’s patent-pending Coal to Chemicals System. This innovative technology will couple chemical production with power generation and enable the use of thermal energy generated from the chemical production for additional efficiency power generation. This process would also reduce emissions by nearly 90% compared to the conventional production process in use today. Once commercialized, LP Amina estimates that this technology could be deployed in the United States creating up to 500 jobs.
- Optimax Systems, Inc — Shanghai Micro-Electronics Equipment Co., Ltd. Precision Optics Sale: Optimax Systems, Inc. (Ontario, New York), a manufacturer of high-precision optical components, has signed a new agreement for supplying precision optics to Shanghai-based Shanghai Micro-Electronics Equipment Co., Ltd. (SMEE) for incorporation into SMEE’s advanced lithography equipment. SMEE is rapidly expanding its presence in the semi-conductor, MEMS and flat panel display manufacturing industries in China and throughout Asia. By combining their innovative technologies, SMEE and Optimax can further expand potential for next-generation lithography in the Chinese market. Optimax plans a $4 million expansion of its ultra-precision manufacturing capacity to support this new agreement with SMEE, which will include adding 50 new manufacturing jobs for high-precision optical technicians at its Ontario, New York facilities. This follows on a $2 million facility expansion already completed to support business done with SMEE to date.
- Erickson Air-Crane Heavy Lift Helicopter Sale: Erickson Air-Crane (Portland, Oregon) announces the pending sale of five S-64 (commercial) helicopter aircraft to China Taicang Aircrane Company Ltd. The transaction has nearly 100% U.S. export content. While the detailed commercial terms of this agreement are presently under negotiation, the companies have recently executed an Acceptance of Proposal that provides for the five aircraft to be delivered over a two year period beginning with the delivery of the first aircraft by February 28, 2011.
- Celanese — Wison Group Memorandum of Understanding for Ethanol Production: Celanese Far East Co., a subsidiary of Celanese Corporation headquartered in Dallas, Texas (Celanese), and Wison Group Holding Limited (Wison), will conclude a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction and operation of an industrial ethanol production facility in China. Wison plans to invest in a coal gasification unit based on clean coal technology to produce synthesis gas per Celanese specs, and Celanese plans to invest approximately $650 million in an Ethanol Complex using the output from Wison as feed stock, and Celanese proprietary technology, to produce ethanol for industrial use, and potentially for fuel ethanol. This transaction is valued at approximately $815 million, with $50-80 million in U.S. export content. Celanese estimates project implementation will support an estimated 200-250 U.S. jobs.
- Westinghouse Electric Company — China Baotou Nuclear Fuel (CBNF) Fuel Fabrication Agreement: Westinghouse Electric Company concluded a contract to design, manufacture and install fuel fabrication equipment for use by CBNF to manufacture fuel for the Westinghouse AP-1000 nuclear power plants currently under construction at sites across China.
- Westinghouse Electric Company– China State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Westinghouse and SNPTC announced a two-year extension of a nuclear cooperation agreement that focuses on continued deployment of the Westinghouse AP-1000 nuclear power plant in China as well as service and maintenance, technology development and strategic investment. The agreement extends the commitment of both Westinghouse and SNPTC to explore future cooperation in areas of strategic interest including large passive plant development; follow-on AP-1000 cooperation; services and research and development.
- Boeing, Honeywell, and Pratt & Whitney -Air China Aviation Biofuels MOU: During President Hu’s visit, the Boeing Company and Air China announced an agreement to initiate planning of an inaugural international flight using sustainable aviation biofuels. Furthermore, Boeing, Honeywell, and Pratt & Whitney announced an agreement on the details of the technical support they will offer to Air China in the planning, execution, and analysis of the inaugural biofuel flight. This demonstrates the strong link between the U.S. and China Sustainable Aviation Biofuels industries and aviation’s significant contribution to trade between the U.S. and China.
Boeing, Honeywell, and Pratt & Whitney will also announce an agreement on the details of the technical support they will offer to Air China in the planning, execution, and analysis of the airline’s inaugural biofuel flight. This demonstrates the strong link between the U.S. and China Sustainable Aviation Biofuels industries and aviation’s significant contribution to trade between the U.S. and China. This agreement will highlight the future of the aviation industry, which contributes an estimated $4 trillion to the global economy annually.
- AES– Chongqing Energy Investment Group Memorandum of Comprehensive Cooperation: AES China, a subsidiary of AES Corporation headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, entered into an agreement with Chongqing Energy Investment Group Ltd (Chongqing) to jointly develop, construct and operate a series of renewable energy projects, including hydroelectric, wind, ventilation air methane, clean coal and low carbon technology projects. This transaction is valued at approximately $300 million.
- Alcoa and the China Power Investment Corporation MOU: Alcoa (New York, New York) and the China Power Investment Corporation (CPI) announced a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on a broad range of aluminum and energy projects representing an estimated $7.5 billion in investment. The two companies will intensify their collaboration in China on developing clean energy projects and outside China on a broad range of initiatives. The total employment impact to the U.S. economy of this transaction is not known at this time; however, Alcoa estimates that this undertaking will improve the global competitiveness of the company and support jobs in the United States.
- Ener1 – Wanxiang Battery Joint Venture: Ener1, Inc. (New York, New York), a manufacturer of Lithium Ion battery systems for electric vehicles and Wanxiang Group, a leading Chinese auto components manufacturer, seek to enter into an MOU to jointly produce advanced battery systems for electric cars and power utilities in Asian markets. This MOU builds upon a binding May 2010 letter of intent and seeks to establish a China-based joint venture to produce lithium-ion cells, modules and battery packs for use in electric vehicles and power grid energy storage applications for the Chinese market and also export to the markets of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan. Ener1 executives credit U.S. DOE match-making and financial assistance with the company’s success in gaining access to the Chinese market. The company expects that participation in this joint venture would be part of a larger strategy to develop manufacturing and design capacity in the United States, supporting up to 1,500 jobs in Indiana.
- Emberclear and CERI Licensing Agreement: EmberClear (Calgary, Alberta Canada), with offices in Houston, TX, signed an exclusive license with Clean Energy Research Institute (CERI), a clean energy technology subsidiary of Huaneng Power Group of China, to become a global licensing and development partner. EmberClear will provide engineering and project development services for economic and efficient clean fossil energy solutions and scientific consulting services in international projects. EmberClear and CERI highlighted the first project of this partnership, a 270 Megawatt IGCC power plant in Pennsylvania that recently received all relevant permits.
- Peabody Energy MOU with China Huaneng Group: Peabody Energy, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, and Calera Corporation, headquartered in Los Gatos, California, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China Huaneng Group to develop a supercritical clean coal electricity generation project with carbon capture in the Xilinguole League Prefecture of China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The project would include a large surface coal mine using best practices for safety and environmental excellence, produce clean power, and convert flue gas carbon dioxide into cement-like building materials.
- Peabody Energy and Yankuang Xinjiang Nenghua Company Limited MOU: Peabody Energy, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri and Yankuang Xinjiang Nenghua Company Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Yankuang Group Company Limited, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly develop an integrated clean energy center in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region. The center will include construction of an ultra supercritical clean coal electricity generation project and coal-to-natural gas conversion facility fueled by a new open-cut coal mine.
- AEP – China Huaneng: American Electric Power Company, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, signed cooperation agreements with three Chinese entities, China Huaneng, State Grid Corporation of China and China National Offshore Oil Corporation. The cooperation agreement with China Huaneng, China’s largest power company, relates to evaluating a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology developed by China Huaneng and improving the efficiency of coal-fired power plants. The overall goal is to advance commercialization of CCS in both the U.S. and China.
- AEP – State Grid Corporation of China: American Electric Power Company, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, signed cooperation agreements with three Chinese entities, China Huaneng, State Grid Corporation of China and China National Offshore Oil Corporation. The cooperation agreement with China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the largest offshore oil exploration and production company in China, contains CNOOC investment in the AEP’s Mountaineer Plant commercial-scale carbon capture and underground storage project, and plans to explore opportunities for the utilization of captured carbon dioxide for enhanced oil and natural gas recovery in the United States. This is expected to benefit the development of CCS technology in the United States and China.
- Duke Energy Corporation–ENN Group Co. Ltd. Eco-City MOU: ENN Group Co. Ltd. and Duke Energy Corporation have concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlining the terms and scope of cooperation in the development and utilization of clean energy solutions for the Eco-City, a demonstration project intended to showcase clean coal, electric vehicles and energy efficient building technologies in Langfang, China.
- EPIC Clean Technologies–Tengzhou Huawen Paper Co. Paper Joint Venture Agreement: EPIC Clean Technologies Corporation, headquartered in Houston, Texas, and Tengzhou Huawen Paper Co. (THP), will conclude a Contractual Joint Venture Agreement for the redevelopment of the THP paper mill. The newly formed Joint Venture will assume ownership of the existing power plant and install a new clean coal gasification power plant to increase power and steam production, lower CO2 emissions by 35 percent, eliminate most other pollutants, and reduce coal consumption. The project includes a license agreement for use of EPIC gasification technology.
First Lady Michelle Obama Urges American Youth to Strengthen U.S. – China Ties, Announces Major Commitments Helping Students Study in China
First Lady Michelle Obama Urges American Youth to Strengthen U.S. – China Ties, Announces Major Commitments Helping Students Study in China
President Obama’s “100,000 Strong Initiative” will increase the number and diversity of American student studying in China.
Washington, DC – Citing the need to prepare young people to succeed in the modern global economy, First Lady Michelle Obama encouraged students to study in China, work together and make America and the world stronger. In support of the President’s “100,000 Strong Initiative, Mrs. Obama spoke to more than a thousand young people from Washington, DC, area public, private and parochial schools, colleges and universities about the importance of building relationships with their peers in China and creating a mutual understanding around the world. The First Lady has made youth engagement her international focus by both reaching out to young people around the world on behalf of the U.S. and also encouraging American youth to become more involved in world affairs, as she highlighted in her 2010 George Washington University commencement speech.
Mrs. Obama was joined by Madame Chen Naiqing, the wife of China’s ambassador to the U.S., Zhang Yesui, and Mary Kaye Huntsman, wife of U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman.
President Obama and the First Lady began the day by hosting Chinese President Hu Jintao, President of the People’s Republic of China, at the White House for a State Visit. President Hu’s visit highlights the importance of expanding cooperation between the United States and China on bilateral, regional, and global issues, as well as the friendship between the peoples of our two countries. The President and Mrs. Obama will conclude the evening by hosting President Hu for a State Dinner.
“Studying in countries like China isn’t only about your prospects in the global marketplace. It’s not just about whether you can compete with your peers in other countries to make America stronger. It’s also about whether you can come together, and work together with them to make our world stronger. It’s about the friendships you make, the bonds of trust you establish, and the image of America that you project to the rest of the world,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. That’s why it is so important for more of our young people to live and study in each other’s countries – because that’s how you develop that habit of cooperation. By immersing yourself in someone else’s culture, by sharing your stories and letting them share theirs, by taking the time to get past the stereotypes and misperceptions that too often divide us.”
“The State Department sends more Americans to study abroad in China than to any other country, “said Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Ann Stock, “Students who study abroad learn firsthand how critical international exchange programs are to developing the next generation of global citizens.”
President Obama unveiled the “100,000 Strong Initiative” during his 2009 visit to China. Today the First Lady announced more than $2.25 million in private sector pledges in support of the initiative’s goal of dramatically increasing the number and diversity of American students studying in China. In particular, the $1 million pledges by both Caterpillar Inc. and Citigroup, the $100,000 pledges by Motorola Solutions Foundation and the U.S.-China Education Trust (USCET) are the first major financial commitments made in support of the Initiative. They will advance the goal of increasing the number of American students who study in China by 2014, particularly among under-represented groups such as minority and community college students.
Building off Mrs. Obama’s remarks, a panel of students who studied in China gave their insights. Critical Language Scholarship alumna Nicole Baden of Howard University, Lyric Carter from Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School in Washington, D.C., Gilman alumna Valery Lavigne from the College of New Jersey, and Gilman alumnus David Marzban from Pepperdine University shared their life-transforming experiences studying in China with moderator Ann Stock, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.
In addition to announcing major funding pledges, the U.S. Mission in China recently relaunched its “EducationUSA” program to ensure that Chinese students and their parents receive trustworthy information about studying in the United States. EducationUSA also features online and mobile services to make this information available throughout China.
The First Lady also highlighted several new efforts launched under the 100,000 Strong Initiative, including:
- The D.C. Center for Global Education and Leadership (CGEL) will create up to 1,000 study abroad opportunities over the next four years in support of the President’s Initiative for students, teachers, and education policymakers from Washington, D.C. public and public charter schools, an underserved community.
- Although community colleges enroll more than half of the undergraduates in the United State, community college students represent only three percent of those who study abroad. To address this discrepancy, the Center for Global Advancement for Community Colleges (CGACC) is establishing an inter-semester China program in collaboration with the West Los Angeles Community College. The program would offer month-long, study-abroad opportunities tailored to community college students. Students from West Los Angeles College, Northern Virginia Community Colleges, Community College of Spokane, Richland Community College, Miami Dade College, and Bronx Community College will be invited to participate in the pilot project, which will later be expanded nationwide.
- In support of the Initiative, last week Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sent a letter to leading educational umbrella groups encouraging their member organizations to increase the number of their students who study abroad in China. To date, 324 institutions have answered in support of her invitation and have pledged to double their numbers over the next four years. Included in these supporters are the 47 public Historically Black College and University members of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund; the 39 private HBCU members of the United Negro College Fund; and the 199 U.S.-based Hispanic-serving members of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. This commitment will help address the significant underrepresentation of minority students in study abroad overall and in China in particular.
- A Federal Advisory Committee composed of celebrated China experts and private-sector leaders is being created to provide guidance and support to the Initiative.
Other new efforts include:
- Zinch, a private U.S. information management company with operations in China, will create a free online database for American students to find study abroad opportunities in China.
- The Ford Foundation, a U.S. non-profit with a long-history in China, is providing seed money to the non-profit organization Golden Bridges for the creation of a robust alumni network to bring together students who have traveled to China as part of the 100,000 Strong cohort and previously.
- GreenPoint Group and the Friends of Charitable Education Trust have offered scholarships to students from rural Kansas to participate in the Experiment in International Living’s China program.
- Van Eyck Global has contributed $100,000 in support of the Initiative to the U.S.-China Education Trust. USCET has distributed this money among four forward-looking colleges to provide travel grants for their students to go to China: University of Arkansas, Boston University, North Alabama University, and San Francisco State University.
- The Chinese government has offered 10,000 scholarships for Americans studying in China. These “bridge” scholarships will cover all in-country costs and target high school and college students and teachers.
- In addition, the State Department is working with a large number of schools and study abroad programs to help them identify new sources of funding so that they can scale up their excellent China study programs.
About the 100,000 Strong Initiative
The 100,000 Strong Initiative aims to increase significantly the number of Americans who have the opportunity to study in China. Citing the strategic importance of the U.S.-China relationship, President Obama announced the Initiative in Shanghai in November 2009, and Secretary Clinton officially launched the effort in May 2010. The Initiative is designed to help educational institutions establish or expand China study programs. It also seeks to reach communities that are traditionally underrepresented in study abroad, including minority, community college, and high school students, as well as students in the science and technology field and those pursuing advanced degrees in China studies. The Initiative relies exclusively on private-sector funds. More information about the Initiative can be found at: www.state.gov/100000strong.
About the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
The Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) promotes international mutual understanding through a wide range of academic, cultural, private-sector, professional, and sports exchange programs. ECA exchanges engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes, and emerging leaders in many fields in the United States and in more than 160 countries. Alumni of ECA exchanges comprise over one million people around the world, including more than 50 Nobel Laureates and more than 300 current or former heads of state and government.
ECA’s programs for study abroad for Americans include the Fulbright Program, providing opportunities for students and scholars from the United States and countries around the world to study, teach, and conduct research in each other’s country, the Gilman Program, providing scholarships to American undergraduates with financial need for study abroad; the Critical Language Scholarship Program, supporting study for American undergraduate and graduate students in intensive summer language institutes overseas; and the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) Program, sending American high school students overseas for intensive language study for summer, semester and academic year programs.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the First Lady
For Immediate Release December 19, 2010
REMARKS BY THE FIRST LADY
AT THE “100K STRONG” STATE VISIT EVENT
10:51 A.M. EST
MRS. OBAMA: Well, it is wonderful to be here. Thank you. Thank you so much. I am very excited.
I want to start by thanking President Ribeau for that very kind introduction but more importantly for his leadership here at one of my favorite universities. (Applause.)
And I also want to acknowledge my counterpart here at Howard, your First Lady — (applause) — Dr. Paula Whetsel-Ribeau. It is always nice to see her. And she’s looking pretty good today, too, I might add. (Laughter and applause.)
I also want to recognize Ambassador Chen and thank her for those wonderful remarks, the history of educational exchange between our countries. It’s important to know.
And I’d also like to acknowledge Mary Kaye Huntsman, the wife of our Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, for taking the time to join us here today. Let’s give them both a wonderful round of applause. (Applause.)
And finally, I want to thank all the folks here from the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center — (applause) — for all their work to promote international study and exchange here at Howard. So thank you all for the work you’re doing. You’re setting a tremendous example.
So we’ve had a pretty busy morning at the White House. As you know, we welcomed President Hu, the President of China, for an official state visit. We are so very pleased to have this chance to return the hospitality that President Hu showed my husband during his trip to China a little over a year ago.
Visits like these provide an important opportunity to strengthen ties, and to deepen bonds of understanding between our countries and our leaders. But as you all know, that work doesn’t just happen at the White House or within the walls of the U.N. It isn’t just about relationships between our governments and our presidents. It’s also about relationships between our people –- between our business leaders, and our scientists, our educators, and particularly between our young people.
That’s why, when we travel abroad, my husband and I just don’t visit palaces and parliaments. We always visit schools and universities and we meet with students just like all of you — (applause) — because we believe strongly that young people like you can play a vital role in strengthening ties between people and nations all around the world.
So the topic of today’s panel –- which is the importance of studying abroad, particularly in China –- you have to understand is a key component of this administration’s foreign policy agenda.
Through the wonders of modern technology, our world has grown increasingly interconnected. Ideas can cross oceans with the click of a button. We can speak, and text, and email, and Skype, and all that other stuff you guys do with people in every corner of the globe. Companies here in America can do business –- and compete with –- companies all over the world.
And as a consequence, studying abroad isn’t just an important part of a well-rounded educational experience. It’s also becoming increasingly important for success in the modern global economy. Getting ahead in today’s workplaces isn’t just about the skills you bring from the classroom. It’s also about the experience you have with the world beyond our borders — with people, and languages, and cultures that are very different from our own.
But let’s be clear: studying in countries like China is about so much more than just improving your own prospects in the global market.
The fact is, with every friendship you make, and every bond of trust you establish, you are shaping the image of America projected to the rest of the world. That is so important. So when you study abroad, you’re actually helping to make America stronger.
And these experiences also set the stage for young people all over the world to come together and work together to make our world stronger, because make no mistake about it, whether it’s climate change or terrorism, economic recovery or the spread of nuclear weapons, for the U.S. and China, the defining challenges of our time are shared challenges. Neither of our countries can confront these alone. The only way forward, the only way to solve these problems, is by working together.
That’s why it is so important for more of our young people to live and study in each other’s countries. That’s how, student by student, we develop that habit of cooperation, by immersing yourself in someone else’s culture, by sharing your stories and letting them share theirs, by taking the time to get past the stereotypes and misperceptions that too often divide us.
That’s how you build that familiarity that melts away mistrust. That’s how you begin to see yourselves in one another and realize how much we all share, no matter where we live.
So the question today is, how do we provide that opportunity for more of our young people?
Now, the good news is that we are headed in the right direction. In recent years, we’ve seen a 50 percent increase in students studying in China. And today, the highest number of exchange students in the U.S. are in China — are from China.
But still, there are too many students here in the United States who don’t have that chance. And some that do are reluctant to seize it. Maybe they may feel like study abroad is something that only rich kids do, or maybe kids who go to certain colleges; they’re the only ones who do that. They may hear those voices of doubt in their heads — you know, the ones that say that, “Kids like me don’t do things like that,” or “How will this really be relevant in my life?”
Now, I say this because I understand these feelings. I felt that same way back when I was in college. I grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, and the idea of spending time abroad just never registered with me. My brother and I were among the first in our families to go to college. So, trust me, we were way more focused on getting in, getting through, and getting out — (laughter and applause) — than we were with finding opportunities that would broaden our horizons.
And the truth is, with the high cost of college these days, many young people are struggling just to afford a regular semester of school — (applause) — let alone pay for the airline tickets and the living expenses to go halfway around the world.
So we know that it’s not enough for us to simply encourage more people to study abroad. We also need to make sure that they can actually afford it.
And that’s why, during this visit — his visit to China, my husband announced the 100,000 Strong Initiative. This is a new initiative to increase both the number — and the diversity — of young people from the U.S. studying in China. And, today, we’re pleased to announce a series of new efforts that will bring us even closer to that goal.
To start, Secretary Clinton, who’s been a tireless champion for this program, has just launched a “Double the Numbers Challenge.” She’s asking college and university presidents to double the number of students who study in China. And we’re placing a special emphasis on reaching Hispanic Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities like Howard. (Applause.)
To make it easier for students to meet this challenge, we’re launching a new Community College Mini-mester program, providing shorter-term, more affordable study abroad opportunities. And the Chinese government is offering — listen to this — 10,000 scholarships to cover all in-country costs for American students and teachers who study in China. (Applause.)
To give more high school students the opportunity, right here the DC Center of Global Education and Leadership is creating weekend and after-school Mandarin classes for DC public school students, and they’ll be offering new opportunities for these same students to study in China during the summer. That’s wonderful. (Applause.)
And, finally, to help oversee all these new programs and all these wonderful outreach efforts, the State Department has created a high-level federal advisory committee composed of prominent China experts and leaders in business, academic, and the non-profit worlds.
So, we’re making some very good progress. And I am proud of what we’re doing here because I know, I know, because of what I missed, the impact an opportunity like this can have on a young person’s life. I know the growth it can spur, the passion it can spark, the sense of direction and purpose it can provide.
When reflecting on his time in China, Jason Williams, a graduate of Seattle Pacific University, said — and this is a quote — “I’ve come to understand the world as more complex, more interconnected, and more beautiful than I ever could have imagined.”
Nina Robinson, who attended School without Walls right here in D.C., described the sense of independence she gained from learning a new language and navigating a new city all on her own. As she concluded simply — and this is her quote — “Not only was this trip an educational experience, but it was [a] life experience.”
And I can guarantee all of you that when you study abroad, you won’t just change your own life. You’ll change the lives of every single person you come in contact with.
President Kennedy once said about young people who come to study in the U.S. — he said, “I think they teach more than they learn.” And I think that’s true as well for young Americans who study abroad.
As my husband once put it, “America has no better ambassadors to offer than our young people.” You all are America’s true face to the world. You show the world our energy and our optimism. You show the world our decency and our openness and our compassion.
So, we need you. We need you out there taking some risks and doing some really hard things. And that’s certainly true for the four ambassadors that we have on today’s panel. These impressive young people have each spent time studying in China, and they have generously agreed to share their experiences with us today.
So, with that, I will happily turn things over to Ann Stock, our Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, who will be leading our discussion.
So I want to thank you all, as always. I love coming to Howard. (Applause.) I love seeing you all. (Applause.) I am proud of every single one of you who have stepped outside of this comfort zone into another country. Keep it up.
I want to thank our panelists for joining us. And I look forward to seeing many of you follow in their footsteps in the years ahead. So, keep working hard. Thank you all so much. (Applause.)