BRUSSELS, April 18 (Xinhua) -- China and the European Union (EU) launched the first-ever high-level people-to-people dialogue here on Wednesday to strengthen cooperation in fields of education, youth, research and multilingualism amid increasingly close ties between the two sides.
Liu Yandong, China's State Councilor, and Androulla Vassiliou, EU commissioner for education, culture, multilingualism and youth, signed a joint declaration in which China and the EU are committed to furthering exchanges between their peoples to deepen mutual understanding.
China and the EU have agreed to expand the opportunities for mobility in education, increase the number of exchanges between students and scholars, particularly in high education, and improve the mutual recognition of academic qualifications.
Furthermore, China and the EU will co-organize a major conference on multilingualism at the end of this year to promote language learning.
The year also marks the China-EU Year of Intercultural Dialogue, under which both sides will jointly enhance the circulation of their audiovisual works and artists. Besides, the two will strengthen web-based cooperation between the Chinese and EU portals specialized in youth issues.
Over the past decade, China and the EU have witnessed increasingly close cooperation on education, training, culture, research, youth and multilingualism.
The people-to-people dialogue should be the third of its kind between the two sides, or the so-called "third pillar", following the established high-level economic and trade dialogue and the high-level strategic dialogue.