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China Oceanic Development Foundation - Learning about Ocean, Working at Sea: The Story of the ASEAN-China Smart Ocean Center

China Oceanic Development Foundation
2021-07-23 17:51 3953

BEIJING, July 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- "I will never forget the moment when I set foot in Tianjin University. The time I spent in Tianjin University was an important episode of my life through which I harvested knowledge and friendship. Even though affected by the Covid-19 epidemic in 2020, we still participated in the China-ASEAN 'Learning about Ocean' Student Film Competition online. Both of us have learned a great deal from this competition and will keep this experience in our memory forever," Annisa and Gustiana, from Sumatra Institute of Technology in Indonesia, said passionately.

What they said is typical of participants of this contest. Centered on the theme of "Learning about Ocean", this contest was held by the ASEAN-China Smart Ocean Center (ACSOC) for Chinese and ASEAN undergraduates. Ten terms related to ocean are given, out of which participants will select one as the thematic topic of their video production. During the four-month competition, over one hundred students from 23 universities in 5 countries actively participated in the contest. Up to October 11th, 2020, 69 submissions were received. Moreover, the sponsor invited renowned professors to be judges, such as Professor Yuen Kum Fai of Nanyang Technological University and Professor Xiaoqi Zeng of Ocean University of China, among others.

"Popular science is an important way of spreading knowledge of ocean. This student film competition is not only an efficient way of disseminating marine knowledge, but also serves as an international platform for Chinese and ASEAN students to interact and learn from each other," said Lam Wei Haur, a member of ASEAN Academy of Engineering and Technology.

The film competition is just an epitome of the friendship and collaboration between Chinese and ASEAN universities. On June 17th, 2019, China-ASEAN Smart Ocean International Student Innovation Course Program was initiated in Tianjin University. The program had attracted 27 students from Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia.

During the course, Tianjin University organized several visits and social gatherings for international students. On August 30th, 2019, Tianjin University held a welcome party in the School of Marine Science and Technology for participants of this program. Students from different countries joined in the singing of Jasmine, a Chinese folk song. Accompanied by a guitar, students from Indonesia performed the song Leaving on a Jet Plane.

Indonesian students sang songs at the party
Indonesian students sang songs at the party

Since it started three years ago, this program has provided over seventy students from ASEAN countries with advanced courses on marine knowledge and technologies. Thanirin, a student from Mahidol University in Thailand, said: "I felt at home from the first day I arrived in China. It was a great pleasure for me to participate in this exciting program, since it helped me not only dive into marine science, but also experience the beauty of China personally."

ACSOC also makes efforts to create an international collaborative framework in scientific research, sports culture and talent training. In November 2019, over 100 athletes from 7 domestic and foreign universities participated in the Rowing Dynamometer Competition of China-ASEAN Universities Rowing Race. In the Women's 500-meter Time Trial, Supawadee Roopmoh from Mahidol University in Thailand won the first prize with a record of 1 minute 44.8 seconds. In the process of experiencing rowing culture and engaging in competitive sports, students from different nations enhanced mutual understanding and forged a strong bond with one another.

ACSOC persisted in cultivating more young people to work at sea so as to promoting cultural exchange and people-to-people dialogue between China and ASEAN countries. On September 22nd, the ASEAN-China Smart Ocean Practical Program held the opening ceremony at Shaanxi Province. This program aims to provide students from underdeveloped inland regions with professional maritime training, train them to be qualified seafarers, and stimulate the development of ASEAN-China economic and trade cooperation.

On behalf of all fellow classmates, Du Fuqiang gave a silk banner to Tianjin University to express their gratitude. "Thanks to the program, I now have the chance to become a sailor and see a different world. The job will also help improve the life of my family," said Du Fuqiang.

According to the training plan, those who meet the program's standards will be recruited by well-known shipping companies with a monthly salary of no less than $1600.

Learning about ocean helps people understand the significance of ocean and deepens the cooperation between ASEAN countries and China; working at sea helps young people explore the ocean and strengthen the ties between ASEAN countries and China. "Now, ACSOC has become a shinning card for China in the communication with ASEAN countries. ACSOC will work harder on education, technological innovation and think tank construction to build a maritime community with a shared future," said Delu Pan, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Source: China Oceanic Development Foundation
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