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China stresses "non-governmental diplomacy"
Updated: 2004-12-17 01:00

China still attaches importance to "non-governmental diplomacy," so as to give full play to the advantages of the people-to-people exchanges with other countries, said Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan Thursday.

Tang made the remarks at a ceremony marking the establishment of the sixth council of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs (CPIFA).

The CPIFA, established in 1949 by late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, was the first organization in China in charge of people-to- people exchanges. It also carried out research on international affairs and foreign policies.

Tang said the CPIFA should "know more about situation in grass roots" and play the role of a bridge between the people and the government.

Tang said the CPIFA should not only invite overseas statesmen to visit China, but also introduce China and the Chinese people to the outside world, in a bid to enlarge China's international influence.

According to the institute's president Lu Qiutian, at the invitation of the CPIFA, more than twenty well-known former state leaders have visited China, including former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. It has held nearly ten international seminars, including the seminar on the "Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence." It has also organized business inspection tours to foreign countries.

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