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Expo Youth Week: Image of Chinese youths in the minds of young foreigners

07-13-2010 15:30 BJT Special Report:Shanghai World Expo 2010 |

Young people enjoyed the World Expo over the past seven days. Young people from home and abroad gathered, communicated and had a great time at the World Expo site, enabling us to glimpse the future from a wider perspective.

China Youth Daily conducted a survey targeting Chinese and foreign university students at the Expo site between July 5 and July 10, with the numbers of questionnaires, Chinese respondents and foreign respondents standing at 400, 208 and 212 respectively. All the respondents are students from the University of Oxford, Yale University, Harvard University, Imperial College London, Peking University, Tsinghua University, Fudan University, the University of Hong Kong and the University of Macau.

Students from the University of Utah
Students from the University of Utah

The survey was released before the close of the Youth Week. No one thinks that elite from world-famous universities share the same viewpoints with all other youths. But, the viewpoints of the surveyed elite can be treated as window into the image of Chinese youths held by young foreigners.

Foreign youths know more about China through “Chinese-made products”

The survey shows that 73.4 percent of the foreign students came to China for the first time, with 34.3 percent expressing their willingness to come back again in the future, 43.3 percent saying that they “may come back” and 3 percent stating their unwillingness to come back.

The claim that World Expos are unnecessary in the Internet age is groundless. According to the survey, the image of Chinese people in the minds of 89.8 percent of the foreign students has been changed due to the expo, of which, 33 percent of the foreign students said that it has been changed dramatically while 56.8 percent said that it has been changed to a certain degree.

Sarah Knop, a 15-year-old girl from Hanover, Germany, used to think that Chinese people were unkind. But, after reaching China, she immediately found that Chinese people are just as kind as German people. Sarah had difficulty answering the question “who are the Chinese people you like best?” With the help of her companions, she finally chose “Super Junior” as her answer. Sarah did not know that “Super Junior” is the name of a South Korean pop group.


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