BEIJING, May 4 (Xinhua) -- The 3rd Annual U.S.-China High-level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange was held on Friday in Beijing, co-chaired by Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Liu said during her address that a range of agreements between China and the United States had vigorously promoted the construction of the two countries' partnership of cooperation.
"The friendship of the two peoples is an inexhaustible source of development for China-U.S. relations. People-to-people exchange among the two countries is facing a wonderful opportunity and broader prospects," according to the state councilor.
Noting that people-to-people exchange has developed in a wide range of sectors, Liu said the two countries' cooperation in the areas of education, science and technology, culture, sports, women and youth had reached a historical high, bringing immediate benefit to thousands of people involved in dozens of such exchange programs.
"People-to-people exchange, along with the political mutual trust and economic and trade cooperation, serves as the vital pillar for China-U.S. relations," she added.
Liu proposed three initiatives to enhance U.S.-China people-to-people exchange.
Further promotion of people-to-people exchange is needed along with exploration of potential for non-governmental cooperation to better serve the construction of China-U.S. relations in the 21st century, she suggested.
Secondly, she urged to enrich the connotation of people-to-people exchange and develop it in a sustainable way.
Thirdly, developing people-to-people exchange beyond the framework of the two countries and setting it as an example of harmonious coexistence between countries and different cultures.
Liu highlighted the role of youth in bilateral friendship and expressed hope that more young people will be able to join the exchange program.
Clinton said in her speech that the country-to-country relationship is rooted in their peoples, and people-to-people exchange is the most ardent and significant part of bilateral relations as well as the most sustainable work of diplomacy.
People-to-people exchange is key for building a partnership of cooperation and it is an investment with unprecedented return. The two countries should remove the barriers and explore channels for people-to-people exchange, while collecting social resources to ensure the long-term and sustainable development of the exchange mechanism, she said.
The 3rd Annual U.S.-China High-level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange reviewed the progress of the two countries' people-to-people exchanges, reached a range of agreements on cooperation in the areas of education, science and technology, culture, sports, women and youth and decided to carry out a dozen cooperation programs.