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Former US President Carter visits PKU

Peking University, Jan. 3, 2013: Jimmy Carter, the former US President who established formal diplomatic relationship with China in 1979, visited Peking University and delivered a speech on December 12.


Mr. Carter was mainly invited as a guest for a seminar themed “access to information and government innovationachievement, challenge and future development”. During the seminar, Mr. Carter gave a great speech about the theme.



Mr. Carter said, Government should be open enough to let people know what the government was doing. People could trust government only by understanding more about politics. Government needed to make sure information is accessible and freely-shared.


As an old friend to China, Mr. Carter kept paying close attention to China. A good Sino-U.S. relation has been his life goal since he assumed President. Now China has achieved a lot in the construction of government information openness. But there were still plenty of jobs to do. In the past 15 years, the Carter Center has devoted itself into the government information openness and transparent construction in Latin America and Africa. There were more than 90 countries in the world established the Freedom of Information Act. However, in many countries, lots of money and efforts were needed to balance the information openness and confidentiality because of the differences in law and some other reasons.


Mr. Carter thought that the willingness to promote information openness from leaders of states and the supports from the top decision-makers were of great significance. He hoped that, not only people who attended the meeting, but also every person in this country could understand the importance of information openness, understand Chinese government’s achievements in this respect and the challenges it is facing, and the determination of China’s leaders to promote information openness. Mr. Carter strongly believed that, in the future, Chinese government and Chinese people would be proud of themselves being the best example in the information openness.



Before the speech, PKU President Zhou Qifeng met with Mr. Carter. President Zhou extended his welcome to the distinguished guest. Zhou mentioned that the number of students from the U.S. ranked second in over 7000 overseas students at PKU, following after the Korean students. After introducing of the brief policy for overseas students, President Zhou said that PKU was trying its best to broaden the fields of research to provide more options for overseas students.


Mr. Carter showed his great gratitude to Zhou and valued PKU as a high-quality university with a spirit of persistent endeavor.


This visit would definitely build a closer connection between PKU and the Carter Center, which will help improve the Sino-U.S. relationship.


Background info:


James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. (born October 1, 1924) is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States (1977—1981) and was awarded the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office.


The Carter Center is a nongovernmental, not-for-profit organization founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn Carter. In partnership with Emory University, The Carter Center works to advance human rights and alleviate human suffering. The Center is governed by a Board of Trustees, consisting of many prominent business persons, educators, former government officials, and eminent philanthropists. The Atlanta-based center has helped to improve the quality of life for people in more than 70 countries.


In 2002, President Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work “to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development” through The Carter Center.


Written by: Wu Cuiting
Edited by: Zhang Jiang