Ethiopian President talks about his stay in China

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Ethiopia's new president, Mulatu Teshome, has had a lot of personal experience in China. In the 1970s he studied at Peking University where he earned a PhD in international law. Later he was his country's ambassador to China. Our correspondent Girum Chala recently chatted with Teshome about his memories of those early days as a student in Beijing and his work as ambassador.

CCTV: "Your enrolment in Peking university-How do you remember it? What was really the experience in that particular university Mr.President?

"Well I was a government scholarship student sent to china. We were group of Ethiopians who won the scholarship. And I was supposed to study hydrolics engineering but Ethiopia of the 1970’s was-it was after the Ethiopian revolution and some government officials are visiting China and Ethiopian students were also invited to attend a reception at the embassy in Beijing.And the high officials asked what we intending to study though I was at the Beijing language institute during that time,I said I’m going to study hydrolics Engineering the others also told their future field of studies.And I was strongly recommended to change my field of study into social sciences." Mulatu Teshome said.

 

CCTV: "The future President,the future diplomat Dr.Mulatu-How was his stay in that particular university collaborating with Chinese students and international students and your general successes and perhaps some of the challenges you have faced?"

 

"Age wise I was not that big. But I could say among the Ethiopians-From our team may be we were all equal in terms of age or may be I should say I was the youngest but somehow I was chosen by Ethiopian students to be the President of the Ethiopian students association first. That extended to African students association in every university.First I became President of African students association in Beijing-the whole BJ city More than Ten universities then the whole china I was President of African students association in China for 3 or 4 years.When it comes to my relationship with Chinese students, I preferred to have a dorm mate with Chinese that helps in learning the language,knowing the culture and to really show your friendship and also to help each other in our studies." Mulatu Teshome said.

 

CCTV: "Mr.President obviously you had a wonderful time as a student in china particularity in Peking university twice-three times in different forms.Once I read something that says you wish your Children or your child to study in China.If that is true,does that emanate from your former experience that you had in those universities in China that you are wishing your children to enrol in universities in China?"

 

"It was definitely me who said that I wish my son will go to one of these universities to pursue his higher learning in the future.And in one way or another at least my son will go to one of these universities to make a research or to study the language." Mulatu Teshome said.

 

CCTV: “Shifting to your days of diplomacy. You’ve been to BJ as Ethiopia’s ambassador.How was that stay? the place that your have studied, the place that you have socialized for a long time.And now you are a person in charge representing your own country. How was it Mr President?"

 

"It was very interesting stay I tried to widen the scope of Ethiopia’s diplomatic activities especially in the economic field where we have to cooperate how we should cooperate.And we have made some assessments which might serve for future consideration by Ethiopian government in perusing china Ethiopia relations." Mulatu Teshome said.