Stop the cancellation of Peace Corps China

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On January 16, 2020, the Peace Corps announced the planned cancellation of the Peace Corps China program, indicating that active volunteers would complete their service but no additional volunteer groups would be accepted. The program has been in operation since 1993, receiving the strong support of both Republican and Democratic administrations. To date, 1,321 volunteers have served in China, including 134 active volunteers. The decision immediately impacts applicants who have received and accepted invitations to serve in Peace Corps China for the summer of 2020.

Peace Corps China volunteers have served as university TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) instructors in four provinces in China's interior, Guizhou, Gansu, Sichuan and Chongqing (a provincial-level municipality), enabling them to serve thousands of Chinese students in some of the country's poorest and least developed provinces. The program's cancellation will both end an important element of U.S. public diplomacy efforts in a strategically vital country, and deny American citizens an important opportunity to further develop their understanding of China's language, culture and society. At a time in which Sino-American relations are more critical than ever, we cannot afford to lose this important program.

We strongly encourage the reversal of the planned cancellation of Peace Corps China.