Bai Xian Asia Institute evolved from the vision of our Honorary Chairman, Mr. Ronald Chao, of a prosperous, sustainable, and conflict-free modern Asia built on a foundation of mutual understanding, cooperation, and trust.


September 2010 – International Dormitories Established in China

Concerned with the fragility and volatility of Sino-Japanese relations, Mr. Chao funds and establishes the first Sino-Japanese dormitories in China at five renowned universities in a mission to promote friendship and understanding between the young people of Mainland China and Japan.  In 2013, Mr. Chao further extends his original vision and renames these dormitories “Asian Youth Centers” to accommodate students from other Asian countries.

July 2013 – The Asian Future Leaders Scholarship Program is Launched

Inspired by the achievements of Rhodes Scholars and the newly established Schwarzman Scholars program, Mr. Chao decides to expand his mission to bridge cultures by establishing the Asian Future Leaders Scholarship Program (AFLSP) to nurture future generations of Asian leaders.  The AFLSP is designed to provide scholarships for Asian students to study abroad at leading universities in Greater China, Japan, and Korea.  Universities may also apply for grants from the AFLSP to develop their own enrichment programs to facilitate cross-cultural understanding.

January 2014 – Bai Xian Asia Institute is Founded

With the support of five founding members, Bai Xian Asia Institute (BXAI) is established to oversee the development and implementation of the AFLSP.

May 2014 – Six Anchor Universities Join the AFLSP

BXAI and Bai Xian Foundation enter into scholarship agreements with six leading universities in Greater China and Japan including Hitotsubashi University, Kyoto University, Peking University, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Waseda University, and Zhejiang University.

September 2014 – First Cohort of Bai Xian Scholars Begin Studies Abroad

BXAI’s first cohort includes 54 scholars pursuing undergraduate or post-graduate degrees abroad at Anchor Universities located in Greater China and Japan.

October to December 2014 – AFLSP Expands to Include Participating Universities

BXAI expands the AFLSP and invites 10 additional leading universities to join as Participating Universities.  Interested students apply directly to BXAI and are selected by the BXAI selection panel.  To support the expansion, the BXAI Endowment Fund is established with a combined contribution of US$10 million from BXAI’s five founding members.

August 2015 – The First BXAI Summer Program is Held

The first BXAI Summer Program is held over three weeks in August at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China.  79 scholars from eight partner universities take part in academic sessions and experiential activities designed to broaden perspectives, build community, develop 21st-century skills, and immerse them in the culture and customs of the host country.

May 2016 – The AFLSP Exchange Scholarship is Established

To encourage more Japanese students to study abroad, the AFLSP Exchange Scholarship is launched to award scholarships annually to Japanese students from Keio University, Kyoto University, Kyushu University, The University of Tokyo, and Waseda University for a one-year exchange program at one of BXAI’s Partner Universities in Greater China or Korea.

August 2016 – Launch of the Bai Xian Alumni Initiative Award

BXAI sets up the Bai Xian Alumni Initiative Award (AIA) to encourage Bai Xian Alumni to develop socially responsible action plans to address the critical challenges faced by Asia’s communities, environments, and economies.  Each year, selected finalists are invited to the BXAI Summer Program to present their action plans before an esteemed panel of judges and one winning team receives a cash prize and seed funding to take its idea forward.

March 2019 – The Bai Xian Alumni Association is Formed

BXAI establishes its Alumni Association to deepen engagement within the Bai Xian community.  Comprising four city-based alumni chapters in Beijing, Hong Kong, Kyoto, and Tokyo, the BXAI Alumni Association aims to further the mission and vision of BXAI by building a close-knit community across cities in Asia and supporting the development of the Bai Xian Alumni Initiative Award.

2019 – BXAI Celebrates its Fifth Anniversary

BXAI celebrates its fifth anniversary and the successful completion of the fifth BXAI Summer Program.  Since 2014, over 470 scholars from 26 Asian countries and regions have benefited from the AFLSP.

Watch the fifth anniversary video here.

2019 – The AFLSP is Restructured

To better focus efforts and resources and achieve more targeted results aligned with its vision and mission, BXAI restructures the AFLSP.  From the 2020-21 academic year onwards, the AFLSP university network will encompass five key cities in East Asia, namely, Beijing, Hong Kong, Kyoto, Shanghai, and Tokyo, while university partnerships will be consolidated to six in total, including: Hitotsubashi University Business School, School of International Corporate Strategy, Kyoto University, Peking University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Waseda University.  The new structure will enable BXAI to strengthen its programs, cultivate a deeper sense of community, and ultimately make greater strides in line with its mission of bridging cultures and developing a new generation of Asian leaders.

Summer 2020 – BXAI Launches Virtual Community Events

As a response to the global pandemic, BXAI hosts a series of Virtual Community Events to connect and engage the Bai Xian community. Open to all Bai Xian Scholars, Alumni, and friends, these online events are well-received and continue to be offered year-round, covering a wide variety of topics and themes including community building, career development, discussion of Asia-related issues, and soft skills training. Virtual Community Events are designed to serve as an accessible platform for Bai Xian community members to build bridges with one another, develop adaptive leadership skills, and dialogue in a safe yet stimulating environment.

April 2021 – Launch of the Bai Xian Project Award

Having witnessed the enthusiasm of students to realize their visions for change over the years, BXAI introduces the Bai Xian Project Award (BXPA) to better support young aspiring leaders in their efforts to transform ideas into action. Founded on the spirit and vision of the AIA, the BXPA invites both Bai Xian Scholars and Alumni to pitch ideas for short-term projects (spanning three to eight months) related to one of three areas: social innovation, intercultural exchange, or East Asia research. Every year, the BXPA selects a maximum of five projects to support, with winning teams receiving funding to execute their respective projects.

August 2021 – The First Virtual BXAI Summer Program is Held

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, the BXAI Summer Program 2021 is held virtually in August 2021 with 133 Bai Xian Scholars and Alumni from the 2019 and 2020 cohorts in attendance. Although slightly adapted to accommodate an online approach, the Summer Program remains an immersive experience with participants delving into important post-COVID topics, participating in soft skills workshops, and enjoying virtual cross-cultural experiences, all via a real-time, interactive online platform.

February 2022 – Launch of the Bai Xian Peer Mentoring Program

To further facilitate connections between Bai Xian Alumni and current scholars, BXAI launches the Bai Xian Peer Mentoring Program to promote growth and learning through the exchange of ideas and experiences. Bai Xian Alumni from various industries and academic backgrounds serve as peer mentors and walk alongside mentees (current scholars and fresh graduates) for at least three months, during which they are encouraged to share their career and cross-cultural experiences, reflect on their values, and discuss insights and perspectives.

August 2023 – BXAI Summer Program Returns to In-Person Format

The BXAI Summer Program 2023 is the first to be hosted in person since 2019. Taking place in Tokyo and run in partnership with Waseda University, the Summer Program sees the attendance of 68 Bai Xian Scholars and Alumni from BXAI’s Partner Universities, who participate in two enriching weeks of academic sessions, panel discussions, personal development workshops, local excursions, and community-building activities.

Today – Expanding Our Reach

Through education programs that empower and inspire scholars in different Asian countries and regions, BXAI continues to strengthen relationships between the people of Asia, support partnerships between East Asian academic institutions, and cultivate a sense of community and mutual understanding within a changing global landscape.