On the morning of December 20th, the 15th Anniversary Celebration and the opening ceremony of the 15th Session of JLU-Taiwan “Feeling the North” Winter Camp took place at the Central Campus of Jilin University. Liu Jin, Director of Office of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs of Ministry of Education, Wang Zhenyu, Deputy Director of the Department of Exchange of Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, Lv Zhongcheng, Director of Taiwan Affairs Office of Jilin Province, Xu Shibin, Member of the CPC Committee and Head of the Education Supervision Office of the Education Department of Jilin Province, Han Mei, Secretary General of Federation of Taiwan Compatriots of Jilin Province, Li Yuanyuan, President of Jilin University, Chen Gang, Executive Vice President of Jilin University, Wang Lifeng, Vice Chairman of the University Council and Vice President, and representatives from a number of administrative offices and faculties were present.
220 participants, including teachers and students from 27 universities in Taiwan and representatives of previous sessions of the Winter Camp got together with the above mentioned guests, volunteers and student delegates of JLU, reviewing the glorious 15-year history of “Feeling the North” program. The 15th Anniversary Celebration of the Winter Camp were composed of five chapters: “Hand-in-Hand Development”, “Deepened Cooperation”, “Cross-Strait Bridge of Attachment”, “Mutual Assistance” and “New Chapter of Cooperation Ahead”. Xia Haiyang, representative of volunteers of JLU, Pasuya e Yasiungu, Instructor of College of Indigenous Studies Dance Troupe of National Dong Hwa University, Xue Jia, representative of JLU volunteers in past sessions, Tan Ching-Fang, representative of Feng Chia University, a partner institution of the Jilin University, and Liu Ying, representative of JLU staff from the Office of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs shared their stories related to the Winter Camp.
Li Yuanyuan, Liu Jin and Lee Hsu-Hua, head of the delegation of Tamkang University addressed the opening ceremony. A laser ball was lightened up jointly by Li Yuanyuan, Chen Gang, Wang Lifeng, Liu Jin, Wang Zhenyu, Lv Zhongcheng, Xu Shibin, Han Mei and Lin Shinfeng, provost of National Dong Hwa University, marking the launch of the thematic website of “Feeling the North” and “Feeling the North” Association of Campers. On behalf of campers from Taiwan universities, Li Cheuk-Lok from Feng Chia University received the banner of the Camp granted by Li Yuanyuan, Liu Jin and Wang Zhenyu. The opening ceremony was presided over by Xia Chulei, representative of the campers.
In his remarks, President Li Yuanyuan extended his warm welcome to all faculties, students and friends from Taiwan and participants of the Winter Camp, paid the highest tribute to all social sectors for their trust and support for JLU in past years, and expressed gratitude to partner institutions in Taiwan for their sincere affection to JLU. He also pointed out that in the past 15 years, 2,783 teachers and students from 44 colleges and universities in Taiwan joined “Feeling the North” program and exchanged thoroughly with more than 800 of their counterparts in JLU. The program, which was designed to engage in cultural communications at the beginning, has developed into a platform attaching equal importance to academic and cultural exchanges. It has become a signature project enhancing mutual understanding, reinforcing friendship, expanding horizons of thinking and promoting cooperation between youth across the Strait.
Liu Jin pointed out in his speech that recently, education is one of the most active sectors in cross-Strait exchanges and cooperation with the most remarkable outcomes. “Feeling the North” program, widely supported by youth across the Strait, has become a bridge activating exchanges between Taiwan and mainland and injecting vitality into peaceful development of cross-Strait relations. It reflects a positive development tendency. Ministry of Education of mainland China has always been supporting and encouraging Taiwan students to study, work and set up business in mainland, and has formulated a range of preferential policies to create an enabling environment for Taiwan youth, to make sure young people across the Strait share the development opportunities, tap their full potential and pursue their dreams in mainland.
Prof. Lee Hsu-Hua from Tamkang University addressed on behalf of Taiwan campers and teachers in the trip. He said, it was freezing cold, but the hospitality and considerate arrangement made by JLU kept them warm. He hoped that through academic exchanges, the two parties can deepen the mutual understanding, strengthen friendship, create more opportunities and jointly build a bright future.
Since 2002, “Feeling the North” Winter Camp for Taiwan students, organized by JLU, has been successfully held 14 times. This year witnesses the launch of the 15th Session of the program. In 2006, the song and emblem of the “Feeling the North” Winter Camp were released. In 2014, official Wechat account in the name of “JLU Feeling the North” was formally put into use. Since 2015, suggested by the youth across the Strait, two sessions of “Feeling the North” Summer Research and Study Camp for Taiwan students have been held successfully. The newly-launched “Feeling the North” website and association of campers will largely diversify the program, making it a permanent spiritual homeland for campers across the Strait.