Zhang Qiyue (left), China's consul general in New York, presents Zhang Jingwen, a fifth-year PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, with the Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Students Abroad, on April 28 at the New York consulate. Hezi Jiang / China Daily
Luo Yixiao (right), a researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, takes a photo with Wu Sanfeng, a doctoral student in physics at the University of Washington who won a $10,000 scholarship, at a ceremony at the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco on April 29. Lia Zhu / China Daily
The Chinese consulates in San Francisco and New York presented government awards to outstanding students.
On April 29, the consulate general in San Francisco presented the 2016 government awards to 20 outstanding Chinese students currently studying in the US, as well as seven outstanding US students planning to study in China with scholarships.
On April 28 in New York, Consul General Zhang Qiyue presented the government awards to 36 Chinese students pursuing PhD degrees at universities from the 1o states in the New York consular district.
The annual awards are sponsored by the China Scholarship Council (CSC), a non-profit agency affiliated with the country's education ministry aimed at providing financial assistance to overseas Chinese students and foreign students wishing to study in China.
In the San Francisco consular district, covering Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Northern California and Nevada, one Chinese doctoral student received the exceptional excellence award and a $10,000 scholarship, and 19 others were each awarded excellence award certificates and $6,000 scholarships.
They were among 500 winners of the Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad, which was established in 2003, as well as encourage them to return to China or contribute to China's development after graduation.
In 2015, a total of 40,600 outstanding foreign students had won the Chinese government scholarships in 32 countries, a 10 percent increase over 2014, according to Chinese Consul General Luo Linquan.
"The students' mobility is an important part of the educational exchanges between China and the United States. Chinese President Xi Jinping announced during his visit to the United States last September that China will sponsor 50,000 students on both sides to study in each other's country through government scholarships," Luo said. "I believe the exchange of students will promote better understanding and friendship between the two countries as well as a healthy bilateral relationship."
Wu Sanfeng, the exceptional excellence award winner, told other award-winners at the ceremony that his scientific experiment was much smaller than the one that Chinese society was undergoing. He called on the other overseas Chinese students to integrate their experiments into Chinese society.
Wu is completing his PhD in physics at the University of Washington and has been accepted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Pappalardo Fellow in Physics from 2016 to 2019.
Another seven US students also were granted certificates and full scholarships at the San Francisco ceremony once they were accepted by Chinese universities for the fall semester.
Daisy Matthias will begin her one-year language study at Central China Normal University in Wuhan this fall.
"Since I work in mental health, we provide service in English and Spanish. The thing is, San Francisco has a huge Asian population. I don't understand why we don't provide service for them as well," she said. "So I figured I could learn Mandarin and come back helping people here as well."
"Thirty-seven years ago, China and the US established an official diplomatic relationship, and there were only 52 Chinese students studying in the US," said Zhang. "Ten years ago, the number reached 62,000, and today, over 300,000 Chinese students are studying in the US.