By Richard Asinof
(Corrected, 10:00 a.m., April 9)
SMITHFIELD – Bryant University President Ronald K. Machtley and Ping Hao, the vice minister of education for the People’s Republic of China, signed two new joint partnership agreements on Sunday in a ceremony at the president’s campus residence.
One of the newly signed partnership agreements will lead to the creation of Bryant’s own campus in southern China, teaching Chinese, American and Southeast Asian students, according to Machtley.
The second signed agreement will bring Chinese students to Bryant to earn their graduate degree in environmental management, as part of the U.S.-China Institute and The Confucius Institute at Bryant.
Following the signing ceremony, which included a toast of baijiu, a Chinese white liquor, and an exchange of presents, the Chinese delegation joined Machtley for a tour of the campus and a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new headquarters of the Confucius Institute at Bryant, which will be a reconstruction of a portion of the Forbidden City, or Shu Fang Zhai, the only replica in the world, according to Machtley.
Lt. Gov. Elizabeth H. Roberts represented Rhode Island at the signing ceremony.
Machtley said the new joint educational partnership will open doors for small businesses in Rhode Island to expand operations and markets to China, and for Chinese investors to to invest in Rhode Island companies. “We could be the catalyst to help jump-start the Rhode Island economy,” he said.
Wen He, a board member from the Beijing Institute of Technology Zhuhai, was misidentified in the photograph in the original version of this story.