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BISU president assistant serves as 'Silk Road' University’s first Chinese vice-rector


Professor Zou Tongqian, an assistant to the president of Beijing International Studies University (BISU), was appointed in Sept 5 as the first Chinese vice-rector of the ‘Silk Road’ International University of Tourism and Cultural Heritage.

The university is located in Samarkand, the second-largest city of Uzbekistan and a location on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was established based on Uzbekistan's presidential decree released on June 28, 2018.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan proposed to build a university at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, in Qingdao, East China's Shandong province, in 2018, and the proposal won China’s praise. In July 2019, China appointed Zou as a special consultant to the rector of the ‘Silk Road’ University.

Zou has since assisted in organizing international seminars at the university, delivered keynote speeches, and put forward suggestions on Uzbekistan’s post-pandemic tourism recovery. He has helped the university acquire QS and UNWTO TedQual certifications and applied for funded academic exchange programs for teachers and students.

Zou has also been invited by the Central Academy of Culture and Tourism Administration and the World Tourism Cities Federation to provide training courses to tourism officials from Central Asia and members of the SCO. He was awarded the "Turizm Fidoyisi" badge (Tourism Devotee) in 2020, in recognition of his special contribution.

Since Zou’s arrival in Uzbekistan, he gave lectures on tourism destination development and management, China’s outbound tourism market, and China’s outbound tourism consumption behavior.

Since 2020, he has expanded cooperation with Tashkent State Transport University and the University of World Economy and Diplomacy in such fields as teaching, scientific research, interschool exchanges and digitization. He also invited the Beijing Tourism Group, Beijing Silk Road Culture Development and Minyoun Group to participate in China-Uzbekistan exchanges.

Uzbekistan has a strong desire to reform, open-up and develop, and its people hope for China to provide them with all kinds of support and assistance, said Zou.

It is such an honor to participate in the establishment of the university, promote cultural and tourism development, as well as talent training, in countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, and to realize the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, he added.

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