UW News

October 30, 1998

UW president leads delegation to Beijing, Hong Kong and Taiwan

News and Information

University of Washington President Richard L. McCormick will be leading a delegation of UW faculty and administrators to visit China, with stops in Beijing and Hong Kong in China and Taipei in Taiwan, November 1-9. Provost Lee Huntsman will be accompanying the delegation.

In China, the UW delegation is being hosted by Beijing University. The delegation also will meet with representatives of the Ministry of Education, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The delegation will also meet with UW alumni and members of the business community.

Dr. Eden Woon of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and UW alumnus Bob Mucklestone of Perkins Coie will be hosting an alumni reception for the delegation in Hong Kong.

In Taiwan, they will meet with the president of the Industrial Technology Research Institute and the president of National Taiwan University, as well as other groups. William C.W. Huang, president of the Taiwan UW Alumni Association and chairman of Hotung Investment Holdings, Ltd., will host a reception for the delegation. The Taiwan Ministry of Education is hosting the UW visit, along with support from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle and San Francisco.

Washington Governor Gary Locke says, “The University of Washington is the largest higher education institution in the State of Washington and has one of the oldest programs in Asian Studies in the United States. Our offices have been working closely on our international initiatives in Asia.”

“One of the core goals of my administration is to enhance the internationalization of the University of Washington,” says McCormick. “Washington state is more dependent upon trade than any other state. Moreover, for many years the largest number of foreign students at the UW have come from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. So it is fitting that one of my first visits abroad is to this part of the world.

“The UW takes pride in our long-standing, deep and expanding relationships with Asia. We have taught Asian subjects at this university since 1909 and were one of the first universities in North America to do so. As early as 1920, Chinese intellectuals came to the UW seeking help in trying to solve the problems of modernization in their country. The University of Washington has already established relationships with many institutions in the region, ranging from student exchange programs to faculty collaborative agreements.”

The objective of the visit, which is the second to Asia this year (McCormick traveled to Japan and South Korea in June), is to develop personal and institutional relationships in these countries–with alumni, with educational counterparts, and with representatives of the business community and government.

“Building ties between citizens of Washington and the Pacific Rim Asian nations is important at many levels,” says McCormick, “to promote understanding and trust, to extend our educational and commercial relationships, and simply to exchange information. The best way to further these relationships is through face to face contact.”

McCormick said that travel to Asian nations is likely to become a permanent part of his activities. “Understanding and explaining cultural differences is an important part of educating global citizens at the UW,” he says.