(CNSNews.com) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday will celebrate the launch of a newly rebranded organization called the “100,000 Strong Foundation,” which aims to have 100,000 American students studying in China by 2014.
Thursday’s event will “underscore the importance of study abroad in China and the benefits to our strategic relationship with China as well as the personal benefits individuals receive through these exciting experiences,” the news release said.
Until now, the 100,000 Strong Initiative — announced by President Obama on his trip to China in 2009 — has operated inside the State Department. Thursday’s 1 p.m. ceremony marks its transition to a non-profit, nongovernmental organization operating independently.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton officially launched the Obama initiative in May 2010 in Beijing. “China has established dozens of Confucius Institutes across the United States that offer Chinese language instruction and cultural programs to help Americans better understand China,” Clinton said at the time. “We would like to see similar American language and culture centers on the campuses of Chinese universities.”
According to State Department statistics, in the 2010/11 academic year, 14,596 U.S. students were studying in China, which was number five on the list of study-abroad destinations, behind the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and France.
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