Promoting Philippine Studies in Beijing
APPFI President and UP Professor Aileen Baviera delivered a lecture on Philippines-China relations before students and professors of the Philippine studies program at Peking University on October 19, 2015. How relations had developed in the last 40 years was the subject of her talk. She came upon the invitation of program director Prof Wu Jiewei. During her lecture, Dr Baviera recalled the years 1982-83 when she was a foreign student at Peking University, as one of only three Filipino exchange students sent during the first year of implementation of the cultural agreement of the two governments.
The Philippine studies program of Peking University was first established in 1985, and has graduated 50 majors. Students of the program usually spend a semester in the Philippines for exposure, arranged through a partnership with Ateneo de Manila University. Among past graduates, some have been fielded to private companies, to China Radio International (where they run a program in Filipino: http://filipino.cri.cn/501/2009/09/30/2s84162.htm), and in one case to a China-based international NGO.
On the same day as her lecture at Peking University, Dr Baviera met with faculty and staff of Beijing Foreign Studies University’s School of Asian and African Studies to discuss how UP can cooperate with them on their proposal to open a Filipino language program. Present at the meeting were Vice-Dean Ma Zhongwu, Ms. Zhang Chungai of their foreign affairs office, and a professor of Malay language. After taking a tour of the new library of BFSU, Dr Baviera proposed to include donation of books about the Philippines in the cooperation program.