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President Park inspires students

By Zhou Wa | China Daily | Updated: 2013-06-30 07:57

President Park inspires students
South Korea's President Park Geun-hye delivers an address at Tsinghua University during her state visit to China in Beijing June 29, 2013. [Xu Jingxing/China Daily] 

The visiting Republic of Korea President Park Geun-hye told of her teenage experiences in a speech to students at Tsinghua University on Saturday and encouraged them to overcome life's difficulties.

She said it was her dream to become an outstanding electronics engineer, until her mother was killed in 1974. Five years later, her father was also killed.

She said the sorrow and suffering of this time nearly killed her, but she overcame her difficulties by finding solace in Chinese philosophy and literary classics.

"I wrote down those words of wisdom and reread them every now and then. By doing so I regained inner peace and found value in life," Park said.

She said the most unforgettable words for her were those of Zhuge Liang, a chancellor of the Shu Kingdom during the Three Kingdoms (AD 220-280) period, who is considered to be one of the country's wisest advisors: "One can't show high ideals without simple living; one can't have lofty aspirations without a peaceful state of mind."

Park added willpower and sincerity were also important values.

When asked what were the attributes of a successful female politician, she answered that willpower was vital for women to realize their dreams.

"Some women may give up their dreams when they get married, but I think strengthening the will and making more effort is the way for females to realize their dreams," Park said.

"No matter how deep the pain, depression will only make you stronger, as long as you can treat difficulties as your friends and see sincerity as a lighthouse to move forward in your life."

She told students not to give up when faced with difficulties and make every day full of hope and dreams.

Liu Zehua, a 26-year-old student majoring in law at Tsinghua University, said Park's words inspired him.

"Park gave us good examples of her own experiences. We should learn from her fearlessness and setbacks in life," he said.

Park made both her opening remarks and ended her speech in fluent Chinese, quoting from the classics of Chinese literature.

She also urged students from China and South Korea to deepen understanding between the two countries and further improve ties through cultural exchanges.

There are about 1,400 South Korean students at the university.

Xin Long, a 22-year-old majoring in physics and also president of the Tsinghua University student union, said the student body had engaged in a number of cultural exchanges and activities to deepen understanding.

"We can make friends with South Korean youth, let these friendships benefit bilateral relations and even boost the prosperity of East Asia in the next 20 years," he said.

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