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SCIO briefing on health and security of Chinese students overseas during COVID-19 outbreak

The State Council Information Office held a press conference in Beijing on April 2 to brief the media on the health and security of Chinese students living overseas during the COVID-19 outbreak.

China.org.cnUpdated: April 3, 2020


My question is for Mr. Tian. What measures will the Ministry of Education take to safeguard the legitimate rights of Chinese students overseas, whose studies and lives have been affected by the shutdowns of campuses in some hard-hit countries during the spread of the epidemic?

Tian Xuejun:

The Ministry of Education launched plans as soon as we learned some governments and universities abroad had closed campuses and suspended classes as part of their local anti-virus measures. We asked our embassies and consulates to maintain close contact with our students overseas who study or live within their jurisdictions, to keep informed of relevant arrangements concerning the students and to persuade schools to schedule appropriate academic lives for our students who remain there. In addition, our diplomats have urged these localities to ensure the health, safety and legitimate rights of our overseas students and to help address their difficulties in learning and everyday life. 

Over the past few days, the education departments of embassies and consulates acted immediately by entering negotiations when they learnt that some overseas students had been coerced into moving out of their dormitories. However, most cases have now been solved in appropriate ways. To lend a helping hand to those students in need, some embassies and consulates have prepared temporary quarantined accommodation at the most popular localities for overseas Chinese in pursuit of academic achievement. Meanwhile, full play should be given to the Chinese Student Association whose vital roles can be exemplified by its 95 subsidiaries across the United Kingdom. Organized by the educational department of the Chinese Embassy to the UK, these associations have extended a mutual help network to 71,000 Chinese students via 208 contact points in 56 British cities. Their work has been similar to what Mr. Ma told us has been done in Germany. In addition, we are leveraging the influence of local overseas Chinese societies and Chinese-funded institutes to ensure the overseas students have places to live, sufficient food as well as the necessities and care that they need in their daily lives. Thank you.

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