Since 2004, the National Committee has been selecting twelve graduating U.S. high school seniors who have received national recognition for their accomplishments to participate in the yearly U.S.-China Student Leaders Exchange. For the young American participants, the heart of the program is a two-week study visit to China during the summer between high school and college. Americans participants learn about China's successes and challenges and have unusual opportunities to meet and exchange ideas with their Chinese counterparts as a consequence of homestays throughout most of the program.
After Tiananmen, in 1989, many questioned whether the U.S. should be dealing with China at all. The Committee believed — and continues to believe — that at a time of crisis, maintaining open lines of communication between the citizens of both countries is more critical than ever, and forged ahead with activities such as our Scholar Orientation Program, ultimately helping our two countries get back on a more productive track.