Harvard postgraduate feels proud of being Chinese

By Wu Jin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, July 22, 2016
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Xu Jiru, a postgraduate of the Kennedy School of Harvard University, gained popularity when her speech, aired by the Beijing TV Station a couple of weeks ago, inspired a growing audience regarding how she feels proud to be a Chinese citizen.

Xu Jiru, a postgraduate of Harvard University, rose to fame in a speech delivered at a program called 'I'm a speaker' aired by the Beijing TV Station, a couple of weeks ago.

Xu Jiru, a postgraduate of Harvard University, rose to fame in a speech delivered at a program called "I'm a speaker" aired by the Beijing TV Station, a couple of weeks ago.

She delivered her speech, which lasted no more than 20 minutes, entitled "Young people grow to be strong when their country flourishes" at a talent show called "I'm a speaker".

"Actually, one cannot discover how brilliant China is until he or she goes abroad," she said in her speech.

As a postgraduate from China, Xu has always been asked by her mentor to make presentations on the major issues of China, such as, "the 13th Five Year Plan", "the Belt and Road initiative" and the "second child policy". There are always talks about China in classes even though the Chinese students like her cannot often ensure that their language is intact and their opinions are extraordinary.

Her Syrian classmate once told her that she is envious of her identity as a Chinese citizen who sounds much better than a status as a refugee, as Syria is suffering a civil war.

"One of the most obvious differences between being a citizen and a refugee is that the former has sufficient rights to choose and can choose freely," Xu said, "that is one of the best gifts a country can present to its young people when it remains stable."

"The world is so big, so I'd like to travel, and my home is so sweet that I can come back anytime as long as I'm willing," she explained.

In her speech, Xu recalled an unusual trip she took to Israel during which an Israeli security officer grilled her for more than half an hour, asking her to give her name, nationality, school, job, the countries she has visited as well as her dream and her dissertation at the airport. Xu felt she was much offended, but an Israeli classmate told her it is merely a routine to ensure the safety of the country which has been prone to terrorist attacks since its establishment in 1948.

They opt for the slowest but safest way because there are too many attacks of which the country is too small to withstand, the classmate continued.

Xu also noticed that when the plane landed at the Israeli airport, almost all the passengers onboard applauded. It was strange to Xu who couldn't understand why they were celebrating when the trip showed no signs of danger, not even any turbulence.

Her classmate told her that their parental generations used to be on their way to escape from the persecution of Jews since the massacre of Hitler's Nazis during the Second World War. They were either killed or forced to leave as refugees during this dark history, which has affected their sense of safety, so their mission now is to rebuild a safe land for their citizens.

"His remarks made me feel how a country and its citizens can be so overwhelmed by the worries of safety issues. The loss of security can hardly assure people to take it for granted," she said.

The sense of safety that a country brings to her young people abroad can protect them from the troubles of being questioned about the legitimacy of their countries, lessen their slightest worries about territorial issues and assure them not to evade to other countries from the war-torn land of their home countries, Xu said in her speech.

She also recalled a famous slogan initiated by the late prestigious thinker and reformer Liang Qichao who advocated for "an audacious and undaunted young generation for the sake of China's rejuvenation".

"There are people at every corner of the country striving for the safety of the country," Xu said.

"Although China today is strong enough, her young people should grow even stronger to meet the expectation of Mr. Liang who made his wish some 100 years ago."

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