Youth Champions Crowned in China Daily Belt and Road English-Speaking Competition
The regional final of the 21st Century Cup International English-Speaking Competition, also known as the fifth China Daily Belt and Road Youth English Speaking Competition, took place in Bangkok on August 19, 2023. Under the theme of AI, a blessing or a curse?, ten competitors from Thailand and Myanmar emerged victorious after beating hundreds of contestants in the preliminary rounds.
The young competitors, who demonstrated remarkable skills in declamation and critical thinking, emerged as champions in their respective countries. Su Yati Eain from Singapore International School was crowned the champion of Myanmar, while Hein Htet Win from London Universities@Bangkok Centre won the title in Thailand. These talented individuals will represent their countries in the grand final, which is slated to be held in China in October.
Initiated by China Daily in 2019, the China Daily Belt and Road Youth English Speaking Competition has become an internationally recognized platform for public-speaking enthusiasts from around the world. The competition aims to provide teenagers with the opportunity to interact and learn from each other on a global scale.
The participants in the competition have expressed their gratitude for the experience it has provided them. Methas Ruttanaburee, a 17-year-old competitor from Siam Singapore International School, shared that the competition helped him overcome fear and gain confidence in public speaking. He also highlighted the newfound friendships he formed through the competition. Ruttanaburee, who had never before participated in a competition related to China, expressed his knowledge and appreciation for Chinese culture.
Ian Robinson, Assistant Primary and Secondary Coordinator from Siam Singapore International School and a member of the judging panel, commended the diversity displayed by the participants in terms of languages and backgrounds. He emphasized that the competition should be seen as an opportunity for cooperation and building understanding, in line with the values conveyed by the Belt and Road Initiative.
Gao Jinan, Assistant to Publisher and Executive Chief Editor of China Daily Asia Pacific Company, explained that the competition serves as a platform for thought exchanges among young people and enhances people-to-people ties. This year, which marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, the competition takes on added significance in fostering cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
The China Daily Belt and Road Youth English Speaking Competition is known for its multicultural and youthful nature. Since its inception, it has attracted participants from over 50 countries and regions. Previous competitions have been held in Hangzhou, Guangzhou, and Chengdu, offering young people from countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative an opportunity to engage and thrive.
This year, the competition expanded with regional events in Thailand and Myanmar, including a junior group competition for participants under 12 years old. These events were jointly organized by VDO English, an education subsidiary brand of China Daily Hong Kong, and the RVI Group, a Singapore-based social enterprise.
Argus Ang, CEO of RVi Group, expressed his admiration for the students’ performances and highlighted the significance of AI as a field for development, especially in light of China’s leadership in the revolution of science and technology.
The China Daily Belt and Road Youth English Speaking Competition continues to foster global connections and provide young individuals with a platform to express themselves and contribute to a better world. Through their participation, these young champions are not only ambassadors of their countries but also catalysts for cultural exchange and understanding.