WASHINGTON - Visiting Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong and US State Secretary Hillary Clinton on Tuesday both pledged to deepen the people-to-people exchange between the two countries.
The remarks were made in their speeches at the closing session of the second annual high-level US-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) held in Washington.
"People-to-people exchange is a bridge for understanding and trust between states and between peoples," said Liu. "It also provides an inexhaustible driving force for deepening China-US relations."
She said teams from both countries, after long hours of consultation, had identified more than 40 joint outcomes in the fields of education, science and technology, culture, women's issues, youth and sports.
"At this moment, I can feel that the seeds of people-to-people exchange sowed by our two presidents are taking roots and are beginning to flourish, demonstrating strong vigor and vitality," Liu said.
"The beautiful spring of China-US people-to-people exchange has arrived," she added.
She called on both countries to bring "new ideas and new dimensions" to people-to-people exchange in the new era.
To achieve this, Liu believed the people-to-people exchange should be people-oriented, world-oriented and future-oriented.
Liu urged the two countries to "keep pace with the times" and "take innovative actions" to be more conscious of the importance of people-to-people exchange.
She also called for special attention on increased understanding and friendship between the young people of the two countries.
"I firmly believe that if both sides keep their commitments, the seedlings of China-US people-to-people exchange will grow stronger, and the tree of China-US friendship will take its roots in our peoples and will develop further and bear rich fruits," Liu said.
Clinton, in her remarks, thanked Liu for her announcement of an additional 10,000 scholarships for Americans who wish to study in China, saying she is very touched by this "strong signal of support."
"We want to see robust, open exchanges, and to lay a firm foundation for cultural and educational understanding," she said.
"We think the more our people learn to cooperate and collaborate, the more that China and the United States will be able to find solutions to many global challenges," said Clinton.
The United States continues to look for more ways to broaden and deepen Sino-US relationship, she said, believing people-to-people exchange is the key.
The China-US high-level CPE was first launched in Beijing in May, 2010.