China and Pittsburgh strengthen ties

Updated: 2015-06-21 12:31

By CHEN WEIHUA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (China Daily USA)

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Maintaining a healthy and stable development of China-US relations serves the common interests of China and the United States, the world's largest developing and developed nations, visiting Vice-Premier Liu Yandong told Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto on Friday.

"It will also make contribution to the world peace," said Liu, who attended a series of events in Pittsburgh on Friday ahead of the 6th session of the China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE), which will be kicked off in Washington on June 23 by Liu and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Liu told Peduto that she and Kerry will explore how to further strengthen the practical cooperation between the two countries in education, science and technology, culture, public health, women and youth in order to lay a solid foundation in the two societies and among the two peoples for building a new type of major country relationship.

According to a press release from Peduto's office, the meeting at the city hall includes a broad-ranging discussion. Peduto told Liu about Pittsburgh's industrial heritage and its environment impact and the region's transformation and emergence as a sustainability, healthcare, educational and tech hub.

The two sides also talked about Pittsburgh's sister-city relationship with Wuhan and Peduto's upcoming visit to China in September, as well as the collaborative educational relationship between the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University and some of their Chinese counterparts.

On Friday afternoon, Liu visited the University of Pittsburgh, meeting Chancellor Patrick Gallagher and other school leaders, visiting the Confucius Institute there and observing a Chinese language class and student's performance of Chinese cultural program. She also went to the school of medicine where a group of Tsinghua University students were studying.

The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University have been engaged in extensive collaboration with their Chinese counterparts in the realms of faculty and student exchanges and scientific research. In 2007, University of Pittsburgh and Wuhan University jointly launched the Confucius Institute. Seven Confucius Classrooms and a Satellite Center were later established at the University of Pittsburgh.

In 2011, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Tsinghua University School of Medicine in Beijing entered into a collaborative education and research agreement to bring Chinese medical and graduate students to Pittsburgh for training in biomedical research.

In 2014, the University of Pittsburgh and Sichuan University broke ground on Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute. Unveiled on Friday afternoon under Liu's presence, the institute offers undergraduate degrees in industrial engineering, mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering.

University of Pittsburgh boasts about 1,560 Chinese mainland students in fall of 2013, according to school statistics.

Additionally, in November 2012, Carnegie Mellon University and Sun Yet-Sun University established the SYSU-CMU Joint Institute of Engineering (JIE), offering graduate and doctoral education to students majoring in electrical and computer engineering.