From 52 to 100,000 Chinese Students in the USA

Memoirs of Stanford

Charles Thomas Fingar

What was it like when the first international students from the People's Republic of China came to the United States 40 years ago? Dr. Thomas Fingar, who oversaw receiving overseas students at that time, discusses with People's Daily Online West USA what these first experiences were like.

Dr. Thomas Fingar is a professor at Stanford University. In 2005, he moved to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence as the Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis and concurrently served as the Chairman of the National Intelligence Council until December 2008. He was charged with receiving the first group of PRC students in the U.S.

While the Chinese and the American governments were busily negotiating the establishment of diplomatic relations 40 years ago, the efforts to resume people-to-people academic exchanges between the two countries were also underway. Commissioned by the White House, Stanford University sent a team of experts to China to contribute to the normalization of U.S.-China relations. Dr. Thomas Fingar was one of the U.S. representatives at the time. In October 1978, he made a second visit to China and signed an academic exchange and cooperation agreement with the Chinese Academy of Sciences on behalf of Stanford University. He spearheaded the negotiations, signed a cooperation agreement, and participated in interviews of the first group of Chinese students to study abroad. On Nov. 12, 1978, the first Chinese students arrived at Stanford, and one and a half months later, China and the U.S. formally established diplomatic relations.

In the documentary, A Story Spanning 40 Years of People's Daily Online West USA, "weird" is the word used to describe the first group of Chinese students who came to Stanford from the People's Republic of China. How weird were these students? In the documentary, Dr. Thomas Fingar describes many details of that time. 40 years later, there are around 900 Chinese students at Stanford University. What is their current situation? In the documentary, we will hear Dr. Thomas Fingar talk about the changes seen in these students.

Wei Deng
Phone: 669.900.2566
Email: peopledailywest@gmail.com

Source: People's Daily Online West USA

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Categories: History

Tags: Dr. Thomas Fingar, People's Daily Online West USA, Stanford University, the first international students from the People's Republic of C, United States-China Relations


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