Blackstone founder creates $300m China scholarship

BEIJING (AP) - The founder of the U.S. private equity firm Blackstone on Sunday announced the establishment of a $300 million scholarship program in China for postgraduates from around the world.

The money being raised by Stephen A. Schwarzman will be the largest philanthropic gift with foreign money in China's history, according to the tycoon and China's Tsinghua University, which will host the program.

Schwarzman will make a personal gift of $100 million and plans to raise another $200 million to establish a postgraduate program for foreign students that will aim to rival the Rhodes scholarship.

It will allow 200 students to take a one-year master program at the university each year starting in 2016. The students will come largely from the United States, but also from Europe, South Korea, Japan, India and other countries.

To underscore the importance of the Schwarzman Scholars' program and China's importance in future world leadership, both President Barack Obama and China's leader Xi Jinping sent congratulatory letters, which were read out at the announcement ceremony at Tsinghua University.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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