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People-to-people Exchange between China, U.S. Helps to Grow Bilateral Ties

The increased people-to-people exchange between China and the United States has contributed to bridging differences, promoting understanding and building stronger bilateral ties, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong said in an article published Monday.

"People-to-people exchange has helped to grow our bilateral relations," Liu wrote in an opinion piece appearing in Monday's USA Today, a national American daily newspaper, ahead of the fourth China-U.S. High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange that she will co-chair with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, D.C. this week.

This round of consultations, which starts Wednesday, aims to implement the important agreement that Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama reached in June on building a new model of major-country relationship, she said.

"The key to sound relations between countries lies in the amity between their peoples based on mutual understanding. Sincere people-to-people exchange can rise above differences in history, culture and social system to give a strong boost to relations between nations," Liu wrote.

Recalling the long history of such exchanges, Liu noted that China and the U.S. fought shoulder-to-shoulder in the anti-fascist war more than 60 years ago, and broke the ice on the bilateral ties 42 years ago with the "ping-pong diplomacy."

Now, more than 10,000 citizens of the two countries fly across the Pacific Ocean every day, and numerous Chinese and American people interact via the Internet and mobile phones, she said.

"The affinity is growing between our two countries. More and more Americans are fascinated by the Chinese language, kung fu and the Chinese culture, while Hollywood movies, Disney and the NBA are increasingly popular in China," she wrote.

Liu lauded the China-U.S. High-Level Consultation on People-to- People Exchange, set up in 2010, as "an innovation" in bilateral friendly cooperation, adding that such exchange has joined strategic cooperation and win-win business ties as the "three pillars underpinning the China-U.S. relationship."

With 235,000 Chinese students studying in the United States, China is now the largest source of international students in the United States. The "100,000 Strong Initiative" has also enabled 68, 000 American students to study in China, she said.

Liu said that "Youth and Innovation," the theme of this round of consultation, is one of great vision, because exchange between youth "will sow the seed of friendship for China-U.S. relations in the future."

She stressed China will focus on economic reform and accelerate reform in all other areas to promote social fairness and justice and enhance people's well-being, which will create new opportunities for the growth of China-U.S. relations.

"I am convinced that with vigorous cooperation between governments and mutual understanding and friendship between our peoples, we will be able to build a new model of major-country relationships, inspiring generations to come," she added.

(Source: Xinhua)

VOL.59 NO.12 December 2010 Advertise on Site Contact Us