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Pad Thai and Peking Duck spice up Global Business Journalism program's Beijing-Bangkok connection


Lee Miller is an editor-at-large for Bloomberg News and a professor in the Global Business Journalism program.
Global Business Journalism program Professor Lee Miller hosted workshops in Bangkok for students of Chulalongkorn University. (GBJ photo by Rick Dunham)

By VICKI CHALERMLAPVORABOON

Global Business Journalism reporter


The connections between Tsinghua University and peer institutions in Thailand keep growing, as students from Chulalongkorn University recently attended workshops in Bangkok hosted by Global Business Journalism Professor Lee Miller. 


More than 50 students and faculty from the Communication Arts and Economics departments at Chulalongkorn came in separate sessions to the Bloomberg newsroom and Terminal Lab in Bangkok, where they were given streamlined modules from Miller’s Corporate Strategies and Data Mining courses in Tsinghua’s GBJ program. The lectures focused on China’s Huawei, Moutai and BYD, as well as Thailand’s CP Group and Thai Beverage Pcl.


The workshops are a byproduct of a Memorandum of Understanding between Tsinghua and Chulalongkorn, which created a partnership between two of Asia’s top universities. But academics are only part of the relationship – a strong cultural bond is also built around delicious cuisine.


When the original delegation of Thai professors from Chulalongkorn’s Communication Arts department came to Beijing to sign the MOU, they were treated to a traditional Chinese dinner that included Peking duck by Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication Dean Zhou Qing’an, Associate Dean of International Development Hang Min and Professor Miller.


GBJ International Administrator Li Chengzhang and Professor Miller followed up in July 2023 by taking more than 20 Chinese students to Bangkok and Chiang Mai for the Tsinghua Media Development and Leadership Program. The group from China went to Chulalongkorn’s broadcast center for a half-day of training in the TV, podcast and radio studios and also attended two lectures at the faculty of economics.


In the spirit of the cultural exchange, the Tsinghua group was treated to Thai cuisine such as Pad Thai and Tum Yum Kung soup. The latest event in Bangkok tightened the bonds between Tsinghua and Chulalongkorn, and paved the way for more classroom – and cuisine -- diplomacy. 


More bilateral activities are most welcome after the latest “fun and informative field trip,” said Pechapat R. Serireongrith, a lecturer at the Thai university and a well-known face on Thai TV as a news anchor and host of variety programs.


“’Show Don’t Tell’ – I like this phrase,” said Siwakorn Poonsuk, a Chulalongkorn economics student, recalling a mantra Professor Miller used in the Bangkok workshop that every GBJ student has heard frequently at Tsinghua. “I appreciate the attempts to encourage students to try to think of interesting ideas,” he added.


The Tsinghua-Chulalongkorn connection is just one between China’s leading university and Thai peers. Tsinghua also has an MOU with Chiang Mai University, the site of a two-day workshop on film and documentaries during the Media Development and Leadership Program in July. 


“I am grateful for the cultural exchange opportunities,” said Wang Zongnan, a third-year master’s candidate at Tsinghua from Chengdu, who screened one of his student films during the nine-day summer program that also included 10 undergraduates from the Tsinghua University Student Film Association.

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