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Chinese students attend G20 Youth summit

By Liu Hongxia, Lu Jinbo (Xinhua)

08:37, June 19, 2013

ST. PETERSBURG, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Four Chinese students born after 1990 gathered Tuesday in an international youth forum to discuss pressing global issues and prepare a communique to be handed over to the Group of 20 (G20) leaders.

The global financial system reform and sustainable development topped the agenda of the three-day Youth 20 (Y20) Summit, an official event held under Russia's G20 presidency on the eve of the 17th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) due to open on Thursday.

"I'm taking part in the discussion on energy efficiency, which is included in sustainable development," Wu Yaqiao, a graduate student from Beijing Foreign Studies University, told Xinhua.

"The development of low-carbon economy is a major challenge, which we young people are extremely concerned as it relates to our own future," Wu said, adding he was to advocate the establishment of a low-carbon sustainable economic development model in the working session.

Countries around the world must make joint efforts to respond to the challenge of global warming, with each nation "assuming both common and specific responsibilities," he said.

Developed countries, he added, should provide greater assistance to those underdeveloped in the form of technology investments, while the latter commit to protecting the environment and developing low-carbon economies.

Wu said his three other fellows from China's Tsinghua University, Peking University and China Foreign Affairs University, would attend different workshops.

"The students chosen not only enjoy a high level of foreign language proficiency, but also possess a relatively deep understanding of economics and issues around them," Zhang Guo, head of the Chinese delegation and a professional journalist for China's Youth Daily, told Xinhua.

Zhang said the students had thorough preparation in order to better express their views and provide ample evidence that China's young generation can carry themselves admirably on the international stage.

He noted that Chinese university students now have plenty of opportunities for international exchange, and that the international atmosphere of the G20 Youth Summit is not unfamiliar to the Chinese delegation.

"All the four have displayed self-confidence and attracted the interest of their international peers," Zhang added. "This is also because China's status and influence in the world have been rising, and other delegates are keen to learn more about China and to hear the views of young Chinese people on pressing global issues."

"For me personally, this summit represents a tremendous opportunity to broaden my international horizons and exchange ideas with young people from other countries. There is no doubt that I will benefit from it enormously," Pan Yuan from Peking University said.

"The other delegations are all very keen to talk to us, and we are more than happy to exchange views with them. They think that as China becomes a responsible global power it should express itself on the international stage, representing not only the interests of developing countries but also those of humanity as a whole," Pan added.

Prior to the summit, the participants have been involved in online discussions for more than a month in the leadup to the St. Petersburg G20 summit due in September. Youth representatives from each of the G20 countries posted their views on the issues, which were edited later by the hosts. After being ratified at the summit, the declaration will be passed on to the attendees of the G20 summit.

The Chinese students will also be able to join the other international delegations in a range of cultural activities and some sessions of the SPIEF.

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