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Liu Yandong Comments on Results of China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange

On June 7, 2016, Vice Premier Liu Yandong and Secretary of State John Kerry of the US co-chaired the plenary session of the seventh round of China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) in Beijing. Liu Yandong fully recognized the positive results of the CPE mechanism over the past six years in her speech.

Liu Yandong said that with personal promotion of the two heads of state, the CPE mechanism was established in 2010 as the time required, and has been constantly improved since then. First, its coverage has been constantly expanded from the initial four major areas to seven fields today, namely education, science and technology, culture, sports, woman, youth and public health. And the number of results of the consultation has increased from 13 to over 400. Second, the scale of exchange has been continuously broadened. The number of Chinese students studying in the US has been doubled from more than 300,000 to nearly 600,000, and China remains to be the biggest source of international students in the US. The number of Chinese tourists visiting the US has been quadrupled, rising from over 700,000 to nearly three million. Thanks to the policy of multi-entry business and tourist visas with the validity up to 10 years, the amount of Chinese tourists in the US grew by 53 percent in 2015. Having completed its “100,000 Strong” Initiative ahead of schedule, the US has launched a more ambitious “1 Million Strong” Initiative, which sets the goal of bringing the number of US learners of Mandarin Chinese to 1 million by 2020. As the second biggest source of foreign students in China, the US has about 22,000 students studying in China. Since 2015, more than 1340 US commercial performances have been delivered in China. Third, the level of cooperation has been elevated significantly. There are 399 programs and institutions of education collaboration between the two sides. Joint research centers for clean energy, rail transportation and other fields as well as cross-border innovation and entrepreneurship cooperation platforms witness smooth operation. And dialogues between think-tanks are highly productive. The two countries have joined efforts in fighting against Ebola in Africa, winning praise from the international society. Fourth, social influence is becoming more extensive. More and more local administrations, enterprises, schools, media and social organizations have taken part in the exchange. The two countries have established 257 pairs of sister province-state and cities with more than 27 million people participating in people-to-people and cultural exchange activities. There are nearly 2,000 people signing up for almost 500 programs of the China-US Young Maker Competition, showing the vitality of innovation and entrepreneurship. It is safe to say that the success of current bilateral people-to-people and cultural exchanges has gone beyond our original anticipation, strongly proving the boundless charm and strong vitality of people-to-people and cultural exchanges.

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