Chinese ambassadors discuss future possibilities with Eastern

Jordan Boyer, Photo Editor

­­More collaboration with representatives from Shanghai, China could be coming for Eastern in the future.

Guoping Wang, chair of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and economist Xiangcai Zhong talked about future relations between the university and the Chinese legislative delegation with Eastern faculty members.

History professor Jinhee Lee said the Asian studies minor, which focuses on Chinese literature, culture, art and history, is starting to attract more students.

In the future, she said she hopes study abroad programs will help bring Chinese students to Eastern.

“If they want to learn American history, politics and culture, we would love to swap them,” Lee said.

Christiane Eydt-Beebe, chair of the foreign languages department, said the Chinese language has been introduced to the foreign language curriculum. Some students involved with the Chinese program attended the public forum and helped translate what the professors were saying to the Chinese representatives.

Business professor John Willems expressed an interest in expanding the School of Business to China.

“We are particularly open to faculty business exchanges,” Willems said.

Technology professor John Cabage said a “dual degree agreement” in architectural artistry might benefit both Eastern and Chinese students. He said this agreement would allow courses to be taught in China by Eastern students, via online or in person.

“This collaboration builds strong relationships with the other side of the world,” Cabage said.

Cabage has taught in China before and said there are similarities between China and the United States, such as social norms and education.

Wang himself was not aware of the Chinese influence on Eastern.

“I was very surprised that there is an ongoing discussion on China here in the middle of nowhere,” Wang joked.

He described how China was a “great stage” in aspects like education, economics, trade and communication.

Wang said he was convinced to start a relationship with Eastern after talking to Rep. Reggie Phillips (R-Charleston).

Wang said he wants to build permanent and stable relationship with Eastern.

He saw all the opportunities collaborating with Eastern could bring for Chinese and American students and wanted to act on it.

“Seeing is believing. We saw teachers and students. I would love to build a long-term relationship,” Wang said.

Jordan Boyer can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].