WUHAN, China, Sept. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A news report from GLOBAL TIMES ONLINE:  

Youth representatives from China, Japan and South Korea had lively discussions and enjoyed riveting cultural experience activities via online and offline means at an exchange event jointly held by China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA), the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS), and the Information Office of Hubei Provincial People’s Government in Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei province, on August 23.

The event with the theme of “Gen Zers join hands to move toward a shared future” included activities centered on three subjects, namely traditional cultures of China, Japan and South Korea, historical ties between the three close neighbors, and how the Gen Zers of the three countries can play a better role in promoting cooperation among and development of the three countries in the new era.

The event brought together more than 100 participants from the three countries, including youth representatives, government officials, diplomats, and journalists.

Wu Hailong, President of the CPDA, Erkenjiang Tulahong, Vice Chairman of the Hubei Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Ou Boqian, Secretary-General of the TCS, Japanese Ambassador to China Hideo Tarumi, South Korean Ambassador to China Chung Jae-ho, and Liu Jinsong, Director-General of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), attended and delivered speeches at the opening ceremony of the event.

In a friendly and animated atmosphere, 18 youth representatives from the three countries exchanged views on topics including language, movie and television culture, cuisine, tea culture, e-sports, and street dance.

Youth representatives also gained hands-on experience of Hubei’s intangible cultural heritage, including tea ceremony, pottery, dough modeling, and embroidery, marveling at the unique charm of the profound historical and cultural deposits of Hubei province.

Cultural performances were also staged during the event, with such shows as the popular song Lonely Warrior performed in the languages of the three countries, a fashion show featuring Hubei’s intangible cultural heritage, and a creative show integrating Chinese martial arts and street dance, winning thunderous applause.

“This is my first time taking part in such an exchange activity. It’s really a precious opportunity for me. I tried dough modeling for the first time at the event,” said a South Korean student at Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

Impressed by the performance of Lonely Warrior, Zhang Yu‘an, a Chinese TV personality working in South Korea, believes that music links the hearts of young people in the three countries.

“The contagious smiles on the faces of the children from China, Japan and South Korea, the determination in their eyes, as well as their energetic moves all showed us that the future of the world lies in the hands of young people,” Zhang said.

“Yichang city, where I live now, and my hometown Gyeongju are sister cities. I hope the two cities will carry out interactions and exchanges more frequently,” said a South Korean blogger working in Yichang, Hubei province.

Exchanges between the youth has always been a key area of cooperation among China, Japan and South Korea. However, such exchanges have been seriously affected by the protracted COVID-19 pandemic during the past two and a half years.

The youth exchange activity held in Wuhan, therefore, attracted wide attention and won high praise from participants. It’s believed that the exchange activity has sounded the clarion call for people-to-people and cultural exchanges among the three countries in the post-pandemic era. 

The event offered a precious opportunity for participants to gain a better understanding of different cultures, said Hideo Tarumi, who hopes that the event would usher in more exchanges and closer cooperation among the three countries.

Young people are the masters of the future, and the exchange activity has served as an important opportunity and borne great significance for exchanges and cooperation among young people in the three countries, according to Chung Jae-ho.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan and the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and South Korea, pointed out Wu Hailong, noting that the three countries should take the anniversaries as an opportunity to intensify their exchanges in various industries, especially the cultural sector, and ramp up efforts to bring their people closer to each other.

As digital natives, young people, Gen Zers in particular, play an irreplaceable role in promoting people-to-people exchanges and people’s perceptions, said Erkenjiang Tulahong.

Cultural interactions and integration have enabled the three countries to shape shared cultural values of East Asia, which is the cultural foundation of cooperation among them, said Ou Boqian, adding that cultural exchanges among young people can further tighten the cultural bond among the three countries.