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Liu Yandong Comments on China-US People-to People Exchange: A People-oriented Project with Strategic Foresight

On June 7, 2016, Vice Premier Liu Yandong and Secretary of State John Kerry of the US jointly chaired the plenary session of the seventh round of China-US High-level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) in Beijing.

Liu Yandong said that as a participator, promoter and witness of the CPE mechanism, I deeply felt that deepening China-US people-to-people exchange is not only a practical action that conforms to the trend of times but also a people-oriented project with strategic foresight. On this occasion, I would like to share four views:

First, we should maintain the correct direction and contribute to building a new model of major-country relationship between China and the US. The two peoples enjoy long-term friendly exchanges though the two countries have different historical tradition, social systems and cultural background. As the biggest developing country and the biggest developed country, China and the US, the two largest economies in the world, share much more common interests than divergences. China and the US should open up an unprecedented model of major-country relationship, which conforms to the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples as well as the overall expectations of the international community. When conducting people-to-people exchange, we should always stay on this general direction and persist in serving the construction of closer bilateral relations.

Second, we should put people first, encourage their participation and enable them to benefit more. The key to sound relations between countries lies in the amity among their peoples, which is based on the connection between people's hearts. People-to-people exchange is from the people, among the people, by the people and for the people. Through unremitting efforts of both sides, an exchange pattern with involvement of governmental and non-governmental sectors as well as participation of different parties has come into shape, ,benefiting more and more people. Both sides should adhere to the principle of involving and benefiting each individual so as to ensure that the two peoples will share the fruits of cooperation, enhance mutual understanding and harvest friendship while experiencing the charm of different civilizations.

Third, we should update the exchange platforms to improve the quality and level of people-to-people exchange. Both sides have explored actively to build exchange platforms in various forms and forged a batch of brand programs deeply echoed by the two peoples, such as the China-US "1000 Schools Hands Together" program, Culture Forum, mutual visits of China-US Directors of 100 hospitals and Young Thinkers Roundtable, forming a pattern with wide-range, multi-level and full-coverage. Both sides should continue to explore new ways to cultivate more high-quality projects and featured activities, and play a greater radiation and leading role, so that exchanges and cooperation will be more practical and effective.

Fourth, the government should push forward and maintain the sustained and stable development of people-to-people exchange. The two governments should play a significant role in guiding the direction, setting goals and integrating resources of people-to-people exchange, so as to help this cause go faster, more stable and further. Both sides should further strengthen dialogues and cooperation between governments, and make people-to-people exchange a long-term mechanism, so that the "baton" of people-to-people exchange can be passed down from generation to generation without any hesitation or disturbance.

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