Liu urges release of 'she power' potential

Updated: 2015-06-25 07:47

By Cai Chunying in Washington (China Daily)

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For the dozens of participants at the seventh US-China Women's Leadership Exchange and Dialogue in Washington, the final speaker clearly demonstrated how women can lead at the highest levels.

Vice-Premier Liu Yandong, the highest-ranking woman in the Chinese government, used the meeting's closing ceremony on Tuesday to talk about how women's development has been "an important sign of the progress of human civilization".

"I believe that if we can release the full potential of 'she power' in China and the US, it will provide new impetus to the people-to-people exchange and to the building of the new type of major country relations between our two countries," Liu said.

Liu was in Washington to lead the 2015 US-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange, of which the meeting, called Women-LEAD, was an integral part.

Organized by the US State Department in partnership with the All-China Women's Federation, the daylong event focused on women's economic empowerment, especially entrepreneurship, family-friendly workplace policies and women's access to capital and finance.

US Deputy Secretary Heather Higginbottom said the US stands behind efforts to make gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls a priority in the United Nations' framework for development goals.

"We look forward to working with China to ensure these agreements reflect the importance of including women as key drivers of economic growth," Higginbottom said.

A delegation of 31 female government officials, entrepreneurs and media professionals from China attended the event. Their US counterparts included senior executives from companies such as Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson.

"Investing in women is not only a moral obligation, but also a wise choice for social prosperity and sustainable development," said Yang Lan, a well-known TV host, owner of Sun Media Group in China and an advocate for female empowerment.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. Liu said the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action issued by the conference remain the guiding documents for the development of women worldwide.

Liu noted that China will host a Global Women's Summit in partnership with the United Nations in September.

Since its start in 2011 by Liu and former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Women-LEAD has increased exchanges between senior female leaders from the two countries.