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Chinese orators aspire to be cultural ambassadors in Britain

Updated: 2015-05-17 10:15:18

( Xinhua )

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A group of Chinese orators have completed a three-day public speaking tour in Britain, aiming to bring the east and the west closer by telling stories of ordinary Chinese people.

The 36-member delegation consisted of professors, entrepreneurs, artists, white-collar workers and retirees from all over China. They have been driven by a shared passion for public speaking, on stages big and small.

Hailing from all walks of life, most of the speakers are leaders or members of public speaking societies in China.

Invited by the Chinese students and scholars associations in Oxford and Cambridge, the delegation took part in two intensive speaking sessions at the universities on Wednesday and Thursday, winning cheers from hundreds of listeners in Britain.

The speakers, each given two to 15 minutes to address a prepared topic, sought to present a real and multifaceted China to overseas audience.

Hou Xiping, head of the delegation, said the topics mainly covered three areas, including China's recent history, traditional Chinese culture, and stories of the ordinary Chinese.

"China and Britain are now good partners. We need not only high-level diplomatic cooperation, but also cultural and artistic exchanges," said Hou, who is also vice president of the Chinese Public Speaking Union.

Hou, a musician, composed a theme song for the tour, encouraging all participants to "fulfill their aspirations."

He added that the tour was 100 percent "voluntary, self-initiated and self-sponsored." Zhai Jie, a professor of traditional Chinese philosophy and deputy head of the delegation, said the Oxbridge visits were part of a global public speaking initiative, which made its debut last year with a 12-day coast-to-coast tour in the United States, including a successful speaking session in Harvard University.

"We hope what we are doing can inspire more people to spread the Chinese culture and the Chinese dream around the world," said Zhai, who wore a black-and-white traditional Han Chinese costume to highlight his speech theme -- Guiguzi, a legendary Chinese political strategist who had lived more than 2,300 years ago.

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