The new affiliation—a hosting agreement—between George Washington University (GW) and The US-China Education Trust (USCET), the 20+ year-old non-profit dedicated to educational exchange between the two countries, comes at a moment when relations between the two nations are troubled. The affiliation will hopefully strengthen education and cultural exchange between the two countries. As part of the agreement, the GW Elliott School of International Affairs will host USCET’s office; the latter will remain an independent organization.
The GW and USCET agreement is a natural fit. By hosting USCET, GW will be connected to USCET’s affiliations with more than 70 of the most prominent Chinese universities, including Peking University, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Tsinghua, Sichuan, and Fudan Universities.
USCET has previously collaborated with Elliott School institutes. Before the pandemic, USCET and the Elliott School co-hosted a book launch featuring Helen Zia, author of “Last Boat Out of Shanghai.” Most recently, USCET Advisory Council member David M. Lampton was the featured speaker for the Elliott School’s Institute for International Economic Policy’s 13th annual Conference on China's Economic Development and U.S.-China Economic Relations.
The GW and USCET affiliation will provide new avenues for scholars and students across the university to collaborate on public events, policy roundtables, and virtual exchanges.
“We are thrilled that USCET will be coming to the Elliott School, and will offer additional outreach and engagement opportunities for our students and faculty interested in China”, said Dean Alyssa Ayres. “At a time in which China matters to every international issue, training the next generation of policymakers to understand China is more important than ever before.”
The US-China Education Trust was originally launched in 1998 as a program of the FY Chang Foundation by USCET founder and president, Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch. Ambassador Bloch is the former U.S. ambassador to the Kingdom of Nepal and the first Asian American to hold such rank in U.S. history. USCET has received financial support from the U.S. State Department and several U.S. foundations.
“USCET is pleased to work with the Elliott School because we both believe that regardless of the political relations between China and the United States, there should be communication, dialogue and cross-fertilization,” Ambassador Bloch said.
Through the ups and downs in U.S.-China relations over the years, USCET programs have continued to promote mutual understanding and trust. USCET affiliation with GW will strengthen that capacity. At the same time, USCET’s on-campus presence will contribute to the Elliott School’s well-established leadership in the field of Asian studies, which includes the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, the East Asia National Resource Center, the China Policy Program and numerous leading faculty experts on U.S.-China relations.