On October 9, the ground-breaking ceremony for the Tsinghua Southeast Asia Center (Tsinghua SEA) was held at Kura Kura Island in Bali, Indonesia. Qiu Yong, the President of Tsinghua University, and Yang Bin, the Provost and Vice President of Tsinghua University, attended the ceremony.
The Tsinghua Southeast Asia Center (Tsinghua SEA), an organization that focuses on non-degree education and cultural exchange, is a key component of Tsinghua University’s Global Strategy. Its operation is aided by United in Diversity (UID), a public charity fund based in Indonesia.
Qiu Yong,Yang Bin,Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the Indonesian president’s special envoy and coordinating minister of Maritime Affair; Rudiantara, the Minister of Communication and Information Technology of the Republic of Indonesia; Agus Widjojo, the Governor of the National Resilient Agency of the Republic of Indonesia; Ainun Na’im, the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education of the Republic of Indonesia; Xiao Qian, the Chinese ambassador to Indonesia; Jeffrey D. Sachs, the Director of the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN); Mari Elka Pangestu, the President of UID; Tuti Hadiputrato, the Chairman of UID; Cherie Nursalim, the Vice Chairman of UID and GITI Group;I Gede Ardika and Richard Goh, respectively the President and the CEO of Kura Kura Bali and the Tsinghua faculty representative shovel the soil together for the foundation ceremony of the Tsinghua SEA. Zhang Tao, the Vice President of the IMF and a Tsinghua alumnus, is also present for the event.
Qiu Yong addresses the crowd at the ceremony.
In his address, President Qiu started by conveying his deepest condolence to the survivors, families, and people recovering from the recent earthquake, tsunami and volcano eruption. He reviewed the history of exchange between Tsinghua and Indonesia and described the planning process behind the realization of the Tsinghua SEA. He noted that Tsinghua SEA would be the third overseas physical presence of Tsinghua University, based on its past successful experience in establishing the Global Innovation Exchange Institute in Seattle and the China-Italy Design Innovation Hub in Milan. It is an exciting new step by Tsinghua within the framework of its Global Strategy launched in 2016. The Tsinghua SEA will focus on talent training, academic exchange and cooperation in Southeast Asia and around the world. It will serve the needs of Indonesia and Southeast Asian countries in terms of human capital training in the face of Industry 4.0, and contribute to the Belt and Road Strategy and UN SDGs. “With the launch of this brand new platform, Tsinghua will join hands with our global partners and all stakeholders to bring about real change for the common future of mankind”, said President Qiu.
President Qiu expressed his sincere gratitude to the UID Fund, the GITI Group and all those who cooperated and who participated in the conception and construction of Tsinghua SEA. “I hope that a hundred years from now, our successors, especially the alumni of Tsinghua SEA, will celebrate what we initiated today”, said President Qiu.
At the signing ceremony, Qiu Yong and Mari Elka Pangestu signed a cooperation agreement on behalf of Tsinghua University and UID Fund respectively. The UID Fund will provide venues and operational support for the Tsinghua University SEA. Ainun Na’im, the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education, Republic of Indonesia, and Rudiantara, the Minister of Communication and Information Technology of the Republic of Indonesia, individually signed a three-party cooperation memo with Qiu Yong and Mari Elka Pangestu, committed to cooperation in high-level talent education.
Xiao Qian, the Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia, (third from the right), addresses the crowd.
The Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia, Xiao Qian, stated in his address that the ground-breaking of Tsinghua SEA in Kura Kura Bali is a “historic moment”. China and Indonesia are good neighbors, friends and partners. Tsinghua SEA will play an active role in China’s relationship with the countries in Southeast Asia.
Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Rudiantara, Agus Widjojo, Ainun Na’im, Jeffrey Sachs, Mari Elka Pangestu and Gede Ardika all gave speeches during the ceremony and extended their best wishes for the future of Tsinghua SEA.
Bambang Brodjonegoro, Minister for National Development and Planning, offers a commemorative painting to President Qiu.
In his evening address, Yang Bin thanked the UID Fund again for the help and support that it has given to the construction of Tsinghua SEA. He stated that the center will not only be an institution for international education; it will also be an open innovative platform that will connect different domains of society.
Writer: Edward He
Editors: John Olbrich, Li Han, Guo Lili
Photographer: Li Pai