Foreign and Military Affairs

Wen tells students to embrace technology

Updated: 2011-06-26 07:42

By Li Xiaokun and Fu Jing (China Daily)

Twitter Facebook Myspace Yahoo! Linkedin Mixx

BUDAPEST - A new tide of technology revolution will be key to solving human problems, including the debt crisis, Premier Wen Jiabao told young people late on Friday as he kicks off a five-day European visit.

"To solve the troubles facing us now, such as the financial crisis, I think the fundamental way to get rid of the crisis is ... new discoveries, new inventions and a new industrial revolution," Wen said when chatting with students at the Eotvos Lorand University, one of the most prestigious universities in Europe.

Wen, who is a trained geologist, made the remarks when a local student asked how he evaluates the importance of science and technology for a country.

"I'm not only interested in science, I hold it in awe and veneration," said the premier. The 69-year-old leader worked for 14 years in the mountains and Gobi desert areas of Northwest China's Gansu province after his eight years on-campus, during which he focused on geological structure.

The meeting with Wen attracted more than 300 people, mostly China fans from the university and the only public primary school in Central and Eastern Europe that teaches in both the native language and Chinese.

The others came from the International Chan Wu Federation, a kungfu school set up by a former Shaolin monk that has about 25,000 members from more than 10 nations.

Wen said he noticed that, despite a limited population, Hungary boasts many famous scientists and 14 Nobel winners, some of whom came from Eotvos Lorand University. Many of Hungary's discoveries and inventions are very important, such as vitamin C and ballpoint pens.

He said Hungary and China should expand cooperation in technology and education.

At the first stop of a visit by a Chinese premier for the first time in 24 years, Wen was warmly welcomed by the young people.

He was presented with a half-hour performance by students which covered aspects of Chinese culture from folk music and Shaolin kungfu to chanting of Sanzijing (Three-Characters Classic), a required text in ancient times which enumerates all the salient features of the Confucian tradition.

The premier, nicknamed Grandpa Wen by admirers at home because of his common touch, shared a moment with a girl from a local bilingual primary school who is learning both Hungarian and Chinese.

The girl asked the premier how she can gain admission to Peking University when she grows up.

"As long as you work hard your dream will be realized. I can tell you there is an empty place at Peking University waiting for you," he said, smiling.

Zoltan Horvath, vice-rector of Eotvos Lorand University, said Premier Wen's exchanges with students has delivered the very clear message that China will deepen people-to-people relations with Europe.

"China wants to go beyond economic and trade ties and make itself better understood," he said during an interview with China Daily.

The academic home to five Nobel Prize winners, Eotvos Lorand University started Chinese studies in 1924.

The university has decided to enroll more Chinese students in joint programs with other renowned Western colleges, he said.

Vaczy Balazs, a kungfu fan and student at the Chan Wu Federation, said he has been learning Chinese for 15 years and now also studies traditional Chinese medicine.

With a diploma in religious studies with the Beijing Language and Culture University,

Balazs, 30, said he does not know a lot about politics but has much respect for the Chinese premier, who watched him perform kungfu.

Zhong Pei, 25, teaches at the Confucius Institute within Eotvos Lorand University and also teaches local people Chinese for free.

"Among my students there are both junior middle school students and elders in their 70s. Some people learn Chinese for business while more and more are driven by interest," she said.

China Daily

(China Daily 06/26/2011 page1)


Franchise heat

Foreign companies see huge opportunities for business

Stitched up for success
The king's speech
Tough sail

European Edition


Premier Wen's European Visit

Premier Wen visits Hungary, Britain and Germany June 24-28.

My China story

Foreign readers are invited to share your China stories.

Singing up a revolution

Welshman makes a good living with songs that recall the fervor of China's New Beginning.

Vice-President visits Italy
Sky is the limit
Quest for green growth