Taiwan student wins 21st Century Coca-Cola Cup English speaking contest
Li Weihong (L), vice-minister of education, and Yu Weiguo (R), member of the Standing Committee of CPC Fujian Provincial Committee and secretary of Xiamen Municipal Committee of the CPC, presented the top prize to Wu Po-te, from Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan, on the award ceremony of 18th“21st Century Coca-Cola Cup” National English Speaking Competition on March 24. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]
Xiamen, Fujian – Wu Po-te from Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan, outshone 17 other finalists to claim the title of the "21st Century Coca-Cola Cup" National English Speaking Competition on Sunday afternoon.
"It was such a surprise for me to win the title among top talents from across the country," said the 24-year-old Clinical Psychology and English double-major who became the top speaker of the 18th edition of the national contest at the Xiamen People's Hall. "This is my first time traveling to mainland and I am happy to make a lot of good friends through the competition."
This year's competition is sponsored by China Daily, People's Government of Xiamen Municipality and Coca-Cola.
Wu Po-te, triumphed over 10,104 participants from 789 universities around China in this year's competition, discussed "The Road Not Taken in Life" in the prepared speech. Over 11 months, contestants nationwide were whittled down to Sunday's final 18 through a series of online, campus and regional rounds.
Shen You, English major at Tsinghua University, was the first runner up who also won the "China Daily 21st Century Most Promising Speaker" award. She is therefore is to represent the Chinese mainland at the International Public Speaking Competition, launched by the English-Speaking Union, in London this May. The 20-year-old will be accompanied by Fu Shuning, 17, from Nanchang Foreign Language School, who distinguished herself in front of judges marking the high school session.
Li Weihong, vice-minister of education, and Yu Weiguo, member of the Standing Committee of CPC Fujian Provincial Committee and secretary of Xiamen Municipal Committee of the CPC, presented the top prize to Wu. In her speech delivered at the award ceremony, Li acknowledged the competition's endeavors to push forward the country's English education quality.
"The competition's experience in developing students' independent thinking and the effort in building character is of great referencing value to the educational reform and innovation in China's English teaching field," said Li.
Zhu Ling (R), Publisher and Editor in chief of China Daily and Xue Weimin (L), vice president of the Fujian provincial People's Political Consultative Conference, presented the first runner up prize to Shen You, from Tsinghua University, on the award ceremony of 18th“21st Century Coca-Cola Cup” National English Speaking Competition on March 24. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]
Bai Changbo, Vice President of Coca-Cola Greater China, saw great promise of China's youth through the competition and reiterated that Coca-Cola has always been an active corporate citizens in the country and will continuously support the development of education.
"The contestants demonstrated the flair representative of the Chinese young generation, and showed us positive energy capable of achieving the Chinese dream," Bai said. "This competition has no losers."
Hou Yiling, professor of English at Beijing Foreign Studies University, who acted as Question Master in the grand final, praised students' performance throughout the finals
"I thought the topic was quite challenging for the young contestants," said Hou. "But I was impressed how comfortable they seemed delivering their speeches, even though many of them are not used to public speaking."
Evolving through 18 years since its setup in 1996, the competition has been arena of international reputation for China's most elite English speakers many of whom later became the country's top interpreters, renowned anchorpersons and journalists. Contestants representing China on the international competition also hold a strong record of winning prizes against foreign peers over the years.
Liu Xin, renowned journalist and translator at China Central Television won the top prize at the First 21st Century Cup National English Speaking Competition in 1996. Rui Chenggang, anchorman of CCTV Finance, was the first runner up in 1998's edition of the competition. Sun Ning, who made his name known on the 2013 CPC and CPPCC sessions, along with quite a few senior interpreters in China Foreign Affairs Ministry, was also the contestants from this privileged competition for English speakers.