Chinese President Xi Jinping Presents Gift to GIX

During his visit to Seattle, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Tsinghua President Qiu Yong, University of Washington Interim President Ana Mari Cauce, and Microsoft President Brad Smith. President Xi presented a China originated sequoia as a gift to be planted at the new Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) facility. Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, participated in the event.

As a partnership between Tsinghua University and the University of Washington, GIX marks the first time a Chinese research university has established a physical presence in the United States. With a $40 million foundational gift from Microsoft, GIX will be a center for innovation where students, scholars and entrepreneurs interact in a project-based learning environment.

Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, also attended the event.

“GIX is a successful partnership between Tsinghua and the University of Washington, which offers a new model for collaboration between Chinese and American universities,” said Tsinghua President Qiu Yong. “The presentation of this sequoia to GIX shows that President Xi Jinping highly values talent development and the cooperation between Chinese and American universities. It also conveys President Xi’s blessing to GIX for its future success.”

“GIX, building on the strengths of both our universities, represents a new model of education for the next generation of innovators and leaders, teaching them to work together across cultures and disciplines to help solve the world’s challenges,” said UW Interim President Cauce. “We hope through GIX that the spirit of cooperation will grow not only between the partners that united to make this groundbreaking institute possible, but also between the United States and China.”

“This institute will create the opportunity for students from our two countries not only to learn about each other, but also to learn from each other. It will give them the opportunity to learn while working on many of society’s most complicated scientific and technological challenges. We at Microsoft are committed to not only planting this new tree, but to helping its branches grow,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith.

(From Tsinghua University Office of Global Communications and Outreach)

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