Officials of Xiamen University (XMU), led by its president, Prof. Zhang Zongyi, visited the University of the Philippines (UP) on June 8, 2023 to meet UP officials and partners and to explore areas of further collaborations between UP and XMU.
The two parties had a breakfast meeting at the Board of Regents Room at Quezon Hall, UP Diliman with the XMU delegation, both expressing their interest for partnership in their flagship areas of Economics, Life Sciences, Sociology, Anthropology, and Marine Operations.
They were also updated on the current XMU-UP partnership for the UP Diliman Confucius Institute, which was inaugurated on October 12, 2015.
Currently, official relations between the two universities are confined to their co-membership in the ASEAN+3 University Network and the establishment of the Confucius Institute in UP Diliman.
“One of the most important geo-political facts today is the presence of a stronger China. No other nation in the world has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty within such short a time as the People’s Republic of China,” Jimenez noted one of China’s recent contributions to humanity.
He also mentioned the concept of the greater China in the world, where a stronger Chinese language program would be needed by UP to become a more global university.
“The University of the Philippines is keen to establish stronger relationship not just with Xiamen University or the Confucius Institute, but with other Chinese universities, to emphasize shared interests, and a shared destiny despite our ethnic, historical, and cultural differences so that we could create a peaceful, prosperous Asian continent,” Jimenez said.
Zhang noted that one of the good conditions for further connections between the two universities is the proximity between Xiamen and Manila, only a two-hour plane flight between the two. He noted that a father of Anthropology in China, Lin Hui Xiang from XMU, was a graduate of UP in 1928.
He spoke of a need to strengthen collaborations between XMU and UP, observing that Asian people are hard-working and diligent. “We need to create a much stronger Asian continent,” Zhang said.
With Zhang were XMU officials: Prof. Zhou Yinggang, School of Economics Dean; Ma Jinlong, School of Life Sciences Council Chair; Prof. Hu Rong, School of Sociology and Anthropology Dean; Yu Hongbo, Office of Overseas Campus Affairs/International Cooperation and Exchange Executive Director; Zheng Hui, General Alumni Association Secretary-General; Dr. Wang Haili, Marine Operations Director; and, Dr. Shi Xueqin, Confucius Institute-UPD Chinese Director.
With Jimenez were UP officials: Executive Vice President Jose Fernando Alcantara; Vice President for Academic Affairs Leo Cubillan; Vice President for Public Affairs Jose Wendell Capili; Vice President for Planning and Finance Iryn Balmores; former Vice President for Legal Affairs Hector Danny Uy; Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs (Internationalization) and Office of International Linkages Director Imee Su Martinez; UP Diliman Chancellor Edgardo Carlo Vistan II; former UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan; UP Diliman Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development Raquel Florendo; and UP Diliman Confucius Institute Director Lourdes Tanhueco-Nepomuceno.