Nanjing (ANTARA News) - More students of ASEAN member countries are expected to study in China as ASEAN and China are seeking to improve its cooperation in the educational sector.

"Overseas students are the bridge and the future of the relationship between ASEAN and China," Secretary General of ASEAN-China Center Yang Xiuping said in a general lecture in Nanjing Normal University, China, on Sunday.

Currently, there are around 68,000 students from Southeast Asian countries studying in universities across China.

In 2016, the number is expected to increase to 100,000.

"We hope to see more exchange and more ASEAN students to study in China," Yang said.

Indah Kartika Sari is one of the ASEAN students who have been given an opportunity to study in China.

She was granted a scholarship by the Chinese government to study journalism in Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province.

It was a rare opportunity to get a scholarship to study in China, she said.

"It is my chance to know the culture of China. And the (Mandarin) language is one of added values of studying in China," Indah who comes from Aceh Province, Indonesia said.

Other ASEAN student studying in China is Marina from Laos.

"I study environment in Soochow University in Suzhou to get a job in my country," Marina said.

Within the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiated by the Government of China, it is expected to conduct more student exchange between the ASEAN member countries and China.

"Chinese enterprises want to set up economic cooperation but they also need education exchange to create mutual understanding," Vice President of Soochow University in Laos Wang Jiexian said on a separated occasion.

The Maritime Silk Road of the 21st century is expected to further unite and expand common interests between China and other countries situated along the route, activate potential growth and achieve mutual benefits in wider areas.


Reporter: Aditya E.S.Wicaksono
Editor: Aditia Maruli Radja
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