Sunday, January 1, 2017

China Synergy

China Synergy Programme for Outstanding Youth

a.k.a.: "CSP"
Organizer: Organizing Committee of the China Synergy Programme for Outstanding Youth

Official Program Objective: "The Programme offers a good variety of activities, including:
- Meeting with top government officials, to understand the latest development of China;
- Visiting major cities and villages, to understand the living of the community;
- Meeting with local outstanding youths and prominent leaders, to understand the opportunities and prospects in China;
- Visiting local and foreign enterprises, to understand the technological development in nowadays China;
- Visiting historical and cultural sites, to learn and understand more about Chinese culture;
- Participating in exchanging activities with worldwide universities students, to broaden the horizon and establish friendship."

Program Eligibility: "Candidates should be:
1. Ethnic Chinese (paternal or maternal origin), and
2. Full-time undergraduates or postgraduates."

Number of Participants: ~200. Roughly 60 participants are selected from HK, slightly more (~70) are selected from around the world, and the remaining participants are from China. The Chinese participants only participate in the activities in China, and essentially act as guides for the HK/overseas participants while the tour passes through Beijing and Shanghai.

Program Duration: Roughly the first 18 days in July.

Cost: 200 USD.

Admission Difficulty: Competitive. The 2009 edition had over 1000 applications for the 200 spots. Due to geographic quotas for participants, it is likely easier for HK applicants to gain admission. The yearly profile of overseas participants also suggests that the admissions committee appears to bias towards admitting students who attend "name" schools.

Repeat Participants? No. However, past participants may return as coordinators/organizers.

The Low-Down: CSP as it is described here, is now defunct. It was relaunched in 2012 as a one-week follow-up program for alumni only. My description of the "old" CSP was as follows:

"CSP is a really interesting program to attend, and is different from programs such as Love Boat and TTT for several reasons. First, it is conducted in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. If you're interested in visiting the three preeminent cities of China, this trip is obviously for you. Second, although in all these programs you are treated very well, the treatment accorded participants in this program is particularly distinguished, as attendees are treated as dignitaries. This leads us to the third unique point: As dignitaries, you will be treated and hosted in ways that you will likely never experience again for the rest of your life (e.g. you will eat a State Dinner hosted by a Premier in the Great Hall of the People). Additional strengths are the strong alumni network that exists worldwide, and the general sense that you are participating in a truly "lifetime" experience. One weakness is its relatively short duration (about 2.5 weeks). As well, if you're looking for a summer of "partying" at nightclubs, this isn't the program for you. Due to the uniqueness of the activities, I consider this a must attend if you can attend it. That said, due to its relatively short duration, if you can only attend one summer program in your lifetime, I would recommend one of the longer programs that are available (Love Boat or TTT). But if you've already attended one of those in the past, then definitely put this program at the top of your list."

Related Links:
Link : 2004 Participant Blog
Link : 2005 Participant Blog
Link : 2007 Participant Blog
Link : 2007 Participant Blog

Update - Late Summer 2010

I am sad to report that 2010's CSP may be the last time it is ever run. A blog follower alerted me to communication she received from the CSP office indicating that CSP10 was the last such program as there are no plans to organize a CSP11.

CSP was launched in 1999 as a summer experience intended to foster cultural exchanges and understandings among young adult Chinese who grew up or lived overseas. The program was two-and-a-half weeks long, and it included tours of universities, businesses and governmental palaces, and visits with business leaders, academic laureates and heads of state.

Beginning with CSP1 in 1999, the program was run yearly with the exception of 2003, due to SARS, and 2009, due to Avian flu. A total of 10 CSPs were thus held. The 10th edition, which occurred this year, also incorporated a large reunion celebration that invited CSP alumni from all years to return and participate in the ceremonies. Reunions were also held in previous years, most recently 2008 when the Olympics were being concurrently held in Beijing, and in 2004 as well.

Among the many challenges of running a program as ambitious as CSP was trying to obtain the finances to operate it. The program was funded entirely through private donations, unlike the many programs run in Taiwan which have governmental support. Further, in addition to the annual generosity offered by the donors, countless hours of volunteer time was expended by the eight host Hong Kong Universities, each of which took turns in organizing the program once. That this program could exist, or could even reach 10 seasons is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the visionaries and organizers involved. At the time, it wasn't even clear CSP would make it to its 2nd iteration, but it managed to occur a total of 10 times. The program's total success is therefore truly astonishing.

For those 2000 or so individuals who were lucky enough to attend the program once, I believe it is fair to say that with a very heavy heart, do we see this program come to an end. Though I'm sure we all continue to retain our memories and experiences of the program, the end of CSP comes with a sentiment akin to the passing of a close friend. Ultimately, the reality of the costs and volunteer hours required to run such a program makes its existence into perpetuity virtually impossible, but this development remains a severe disappointment nonetheless.

I hope alumni around the world can take a moment to reflect on the experience they had on this program, and to preserve the memory of this truly great endeavor.

Update - March 3, 2012

(The following message was sent to CSP alumni today referencing some type of "new programme" scheduled for August 2012. It is not clear if the new "programme" is intended only for alumni, or if it will be some open-participation activity for anyone to attend. Any news and updates will be posted on this site immediately when they are publicly announced, which may be in a few short weeks.)

Dear CSP Alumni,

First and foremost, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy new year!  May the year of the Dragon bring you good health and prosperity.

It has now been over a year since CSP10, but the view of you all gathering as one big family at the reunion banquet in Beijing is still a vivid and exhilarating picture to me.

Since the first CSP in 1999, the programme has kept to the aim of providing our overseas born Chinese students a chance to visit China, to learn more about the cultural and economical aspects of the country and to witness with their very own eyes the development their motherland has achieved.  Through 10 successful years, more than 2000 outstanding youths from 255 universities over 25 countries and regions around the world has taken part in the China Synergy Programme.  What was then a handful of students have today become a great network of elites and professionals, and more importantly, of unbreakable friendships.

The successful closing of the 10th CSP was an important milestone for the programme, and the organizing committee would once again like to thank all of you who have participated and supported the programme throughout the years. Your enthusiasm and encouragements has always been the momentum of the programme and it would not have achieved what it has today without your support.

The China Synergy Programme will be stepping into its 11th year, and we believe it is time to enter a new chapter.  Ten years of root searching journeys introduced you all to the development China has achieved since its open doors policy, and many of you might even have been inspired to develop your career here.

The organizing committee is therefore hoping that the programme could offer to our participants and alumni more than a mere doorway into China.  We are hoping that CSP can become a platform where opportunities, channels and essential supports are made available for our alumni to further develop and expand their careers in China.  With this direction in mind, and after much brainstorming and planning in the past year, the organizing committee have decided to launch our new programme this coming August.  Further information including the itinerary and application details will be announced via email and website in mid-March.

On a side note, as many of our upcoming activities will be based in Mainland China, the organizing committee has decided to establish a CSP office in Beijing, and has appointed Mr. Zhang Songjiang  to be responsible for its operations.  Moreover, as Mr. Julius Lui has resigned from the position of project manager after CSP10 and is no longer with the CSP office, our programme secretary Miss Zhang Xiaoxu (Ivy) will be in charge of future correspondences and coordination.

Meanwhile, the preparation of the new programme is on its way.  The success of launching series of campaigns and activities is very much relied on the participation of our CSP alumni.  Therefore, we are much appreciated if you could spare a few minutes to update your personal information below and email back to us on or before March 15, 2012. Finally, please help us spread the word and forward this email to other CSP alumni who might have lost contact with us!

Should you have any questions, please contact us through email using the following email address:

The CSP will soon be entering a new era, and as the founder of this programme, I sincerely hope that every one of you will continue to be part of the CSP family.  With the friendship you have fostered amongst yourselves, I am confident that you will together build Develop your career and fulfill your dreams together with your CSP friends and let us carry on the vision and the spirit of CSP!

And together you will achieve new heights in your careers.

Warmest regards,

Leung Kwok Ching
Founder and
Chairman of the Planning Committee
China Synergy Programme for Outstanding Youth

-- In Chinese --


        時光飛逝,第十屆「海外傑青匯中華」暨舊生大團聚活動已經結束一年多了。回想2010年7月的北京晚宴,十屆成員,歡聚一堂,回憶往昔, 暢談理想,成為「傑青」發展歷程的 重要里程碑。 
        「海外傑青匯中華」活動於1999年發起,源自一個簡單而熱切的理念,希望搭建一 個平台,讓更多華裔青年有機會回到祖輩家園,認識中華文化,了解國家發展,喚起炎黃子孫對民族的認知、認同。不知不覺間,活動已經舉辦十屆,來自25個國家和地區、255間知名學府的2000多名優秀華裔青年通過「傑青」平台尋根中華大地,親身感受五千年文化的博大精深,親眼目睹三十年改革開放的巨大變遷,彼此間交流、分 享,在一段段難忘旅程中,建立起同根同源的珍貴友 誼。同時,憑藉著參加過「傑青」的共同經歷,不同地區、不同屆別的成員相識、相知,建立並維持著密切的聯繫,甚至成為彼此事業和生活上的重要 夥伴。

        第十屆活動結束之後,「海外傑青匯中華」活動並未在原有模式下開展新的尋根之旅,因而收到很多成員發來的信息,熱切期盼活動 能夠延續,並且表達出希望參與、幫助活動未來發展的強烈願望,對此,籌委會深感欣慰!你們的關心、支持,以及強大的凝聚力是活動不斷開展的動力泉源,也只 有你們的積極參與,才能讓「海外傑青匯中華」活動延續、發展。 
        十年樹木已成蔭。如今,「海外傑青匯中華」的兩千多名成員中, 估計約有七成已經進入社會在各行各業中發展,逐步地建立 起各自的事業基礎。從過 去的活動中,你們有機會更多地了解了 中國的發展,也見證了改革開放為中國經濟帶來的活力,甚至很大部分成員受到影響,在活動結束之後再次回到中國,求學、就業、定居,亦 或開創了自己的事業。三十年的改革歷程,中國發展取得的成績有目共睹,而在未來仍然存在著很大的發展空間和機遇,此時此刻,「海外傑 青匯中華」活動若要延續,首先要思考的應該是如何為現有的兩千多名成員再次搭建一個平台,在你們為個人事業打拼之時,能夠為你們的事 業發展增添一點助力。過 去的一年多,籌委會一直在為新階段活動進行著積極的部署,並決定於今年8月推出首個全新活動。活動為期1周左右,招募對象以現有成員為主,具體活動內 容及申請方式將於3月中旬正式公佈。

        與此同時,考慮到未來活動的開展將以內地城 市為主,籌委會計劃於北京設立辦事處,以便就近處理內地活動相關事務,並邀請到張松江先生代為統籌辦事處的運作。此外,因「傑青」原項目 經理呂文匯先生已於2010年第十屆活動結束後正式離職,其後工作將由 第十屆活動秘書張曉旭小姐繼續跟進。在新活動報名啟動前,我們需要各位成員更新個人資料,以便為活動開展提供重要的參考,請填妥下列回執,並於2012年3月15日前 回覆電郵至。最後,考慮到成員們的聯繫方式變更頻繁,在 此希望得到各位協助,將此封電郵及表格轉發給你身邊的其他「傑青」成員,如有任何查詢,請通過電郵與我們聯繫,感謝你們的配合!

        各位成員,「海外傑青匯中華」活動即將開始嶄新的歷程,作 為活動的發起人,我衷心希望你們加入到新階段的活動中來,與昔日的朋友們一起,發展事業,實現理想,從而讓「海外傑青匯中華」的理念繼續傳承發揚!

發起人兼策劃委員會 主席


Tofu said...

wow! this program sound really interesting. i wish i had known about this before... but i already applied for TTT 2010! hopefully i can go to CSP next year, though. and thank you for making this blog, by the way. it's extremely helpful.

Taiwan Summer said...

CSP is fun, but you won't go wrong with TTT. You'll have a great summer!

Tofu said...

is this available for fresh grads?

Taiwan Summer said...

What do you mean by fresh grad?

You have to be a student (undergrad or graduate) at the time of application. Hence, you could have already graduated by the time you actually participate, assuming you are in the last year of your studies when you apply.

Taiwan Summer said...

I recently received communication from the CSP office confirming that no new CSP activities are currently planned. This appears to confirm that no CSP will occur in 2011, and CSP-related activities have indefinitely ceased.

That said, the language of the communication simply mentioned that no new activities were currently being planned. There was no mention that the "CSP" concept had been discontinued, or that CSP had entirely ceased to exist.

Perhaps this leaves the possibility that at some point in the future, CSP will be resurrected, either in its current form, or in the form of an alumni gathering, or perhaps some else. With optimism, all we can do is wait and see.

Anonymous said...

I contacted the CSP office and got the same news.

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