Cooperation with China
China is a fascinating country, yet it also divides opinion. On the one hand, the country is a major new economic force and a technology powerhouse, making it a new political player. On the other, China’s centralistic structure and governmental control mechanisms are a source of unease for some observers. Against this backdrop, mutual exchanges on all levels and via all channels are more vital than ever, ensuring that insights gained so far can be put to good use and mutual (cultural) understanding can be deepened.
IJAB pursues these objectives in cooperation with the All-Chinese Youth Association, China’s main youth policy stakeholder, on behalf of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ). Their work centres primarily on expert exchanges, under which German and Chinese child and youth work representatives visit each other’s countries once a year. These one-week visits are an opportunity for both sides to gain new insights, explore new facets of a certain subject area, and engage in in-depth dialogue.
In addition, regular talks are held between child and youth policy representatives from Germany and China during which future objectives and priorities for cooperation are set. This enables an intense dialogue that is beneficial for all involved parties.
To ensure the lasting success of the German-Chinese dialogue in the youth field, IJAB provides information and advisory services for child and youth services providers wishing to establish or expand exchange activities with China. Beyond the information presented on the page Country information on China (page in German), IJAB’s representatives can be contacted by phone or e-mail at any time.
Through formats such as the People-2-People dialogue and the German-Chinese Partners’ Conferences, stakeholders on both sides have an additional platform to exchange information and experiences and to establish future partnerships for promoting non-school youth exchanges.
The starting point for youth policy cooperation between Germany and the People’s Republic of China dates back to 14 September 2006, when an agreement was signed between Germany's Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and the All-Chinese Youth Association of the People’s Republic of China on cooperation in the field of child and youth services. To mark the launch of the cooperation, in 2007 and 2008 a group of 400 young people and experts from Germany travelled to China upon the invitation of Wen Jiabao, the then Premier of China. In 2008, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel returned the gesture by inviting 400 young Chinese to visit Germany. The cooperation has evolved ever since.
The German Federal Government has dedicated part of the budget of its Child and Youth Plan to the implementation of youth and expert exchanges with China.