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Obama Pledges to Send 100,000 Students to China in the Next 4 Years

During his trip to China this week, President Obama pledged to send 100,000 students to China over the next four years. How he plans to do that, though, remains to be determined. In a U.S.-China joint statement, the White House noted that nearly 100,000 Chinese students come to the United States each year, while the United States sends about 20,000 students to China. (The actual number, according to the most recent data from the Institute of International Education, may be closer to 13,000.) Contacted today, a State Department spokesman explained the initiative by saying that “China will have a much more important voice in world affairs in the coming years, and we need more Americans who can speak the language, who understand China, and who can do business more effectively with the Chinese.” He did not have any information on how the program would be structured or which agency would run it, saying that such details would be announced “at a later date.”

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