Chinese Vice Premier calls for enhanced China-US cultural exchanges
Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong meets former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at a banquet held in New York on September 25, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua/Wang Ying]
Visiting Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong said on Tuesday China and the United States should enhance people-to-people exchanges to build stronger ties.
Liu made the remarks in a keynote speech at the opening of the China-US University Presidents and Think Tank Forum at Columbia University in New York City.
The Vice Premier highlighted cultural exchanges as the areas where the two countries "have the least disagreements and the most consensus."
Liu Yandong pointed out that this year marks the 45th anniversary of the Shanghai Communique, which was released in 1972 during US President Nixon's historic visit to China. It laid the foundation for the resumption of China-US diplomatic ties.
Liu said those who have made great contributions to developing bilateral ties should not be forgotten, including former US Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, who also attended the event.
"We Chinese often say the later generations benefit from the deeds done by their predecessors. The fact that we have a solid China-US relationship today must be attributed to those who sowed the seeds in the early days of our ties. Therefore, let me propose, please give a warm round of applause and show our gratitude to Dr. Kissinger and to all who have made contributions to China-US ties," said Liu.
Liu said over the past seven years, China-US high-level cultural exchanges have achieved fruitful results, benefiting bilateral ties which she described as having become " warmer, more resilient and more dynamic."
Liu said the Chinese government will continue to place a great emphasis on furthering people-to-people exchanges with the US.
"President Xi Jinping has stressed that people-to-people and cultural exchanges between our two countries are a pillar of our relationship, which demonstrates the fundamental and guiding role these exchanges play in China-US ties. We can only maintain the sustainable development of bilateral ties if we continue to display the positive energy of our peoples and continue to enhance the understanding, friendships and good will between our two peoples," said Liu.
Liu Yandong is set to co-chair a China-US social and people-to-people dialogue in Washington DC on Thursday, along with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
It is one of the four high-level dialogues established during a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump in April.
Also speaking at the event at Columbia, Henry Kissinger said the US and China, as two great world economies with a history of cooperation, share a special responsibility in a world faced with uncertainties in every region.
"The people exchange between our two countries in the recent past has evolved into an absolute prerequisite for world order. For the world, the US-China relationship will be the defining relationship of the 21st century," said 94-year-old Kissinger.
Also as part of her itinerary in New York, Liu Yandong attended a China-US forum at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.