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  • 8 High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanisms

    Stand:25.08.2017

    Editor’s note:
    Apart from the six deputy prime-ministerial people-to-people exchange mechanisms mentioned in this article, China has founded people-to-people exchange mechanisms with South Africa and Germany in 2017. So far, there are eight deputy prime-ministerial people-to-people exchange mechanisms between China and other countries:
    ▶ China-Russia Cultural Cooperation Committee
    ▶ China-US Social, and People-to-People and Cultural Dialogue
    ▶ China-UK High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism
    ▶ China-EU High-Level People-to-People Dialogue
    ▶ China-France High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism
    ▶ China-Indonesia Deputy Prime-Ministerial People-to-People Exchange - Mechanism
    ▶ China-South Africa High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism
    ▶ China-Germany High- Level People-to-People Exchange Dialogue Mechanism


    Exchanges, Mutual Learning, Cooperation and Mutual Benefit
    —Summary of High-Level People-to-People Exchanges Between China and Other Countries


    The CPC Central Committee and State Council attach great importance to people-to-people exchanges between China and other countries, and they have become an important diplomatic strategy of the CPC and country. People-to-people exchanges, strategic mutual trust, and economic and trade cooperation are the three mainstays of China’s foreign relations, and they are important tools for promoting the healthy development of bilateral and multilateral relations.

    President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have repeatedly stressed in the course of international exchanges the importance of closer people-to-people exchanges to bring about a solid foundation of friendship and goodwill between China and the peoples of other countries.

    Vice Premier Liu Yandong has personally taken on the role of chairperson of China’s major people-to-people exchange mechanisms, with Russia, the US, the UK, the EU, France, Indonesia, South Africa and Germany, guiding closer national and regional exchanges and cooperation by Chinese member institutions.
    The establishment of high-level people-to-people exchange mechanisms between China and other countries can effectively promote mutual understanding between the people of China and the people of those countries, constantly expand and deepen such exchanges, and play a positive and important role in achieving mutually beneficial cooperation and promoting peaceful development around the world.

    President Xi Jinping giving a speech at the Joint Opening Ceremony of the Sixth Round of US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue & the Fifth Round of US-China High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange in Beijing on July 9, 2014. Photo by Pang Xinglei (Xinhua)

    Looking back, people-to-people exchanges between China and foreign nations have developed from nothing and constantly grown in importance. Since the China-Russia Cooperation Committee on Education, Culture, Health and Sports was set up in 2000, China has successively established eight deputy prime-ministerial people-to-people exchange mechanisms, with Russia, the US, the UK, the EU, France, Indonesia, South Africa and Germany.

    Under the guidance of these mechanisms, a pattern of people-to-people exchanges characterized by high-level support, involvement of both public and private actors, and multilateral participation has gradually formed. Such exchanges have covered a wide range of areas, including education, science and technology, culture, health, sports, radio and television, the media, tourism, women, young people, archives and local cooperation. Under the joint efforts of the members of these mechanisms, they have created a wealth of achievements and been a remarkable success.


    China-Russia Cultural Cooperation Committee


    Based on the consensus reached by the leaders of China and Russia and in an effort to promote the comprehensive development of the strategic collaborative partnership, plan for areas of cooperation in a coordinated way, and institutionalize areas of cooperation between the two countries, the China-Russia Cooperation Committee on Education, Culture, Health and Sports was established in November 2000.

    Though it was originally set up to cover just the areas of education, culture, health and sports, cooperation has gradually expanded into other fields over time. Indeed, in July 2007, the Committee’s name was changed to the China-Russia Cultural Cooperation Committee. The Committee is made up of eight subcommittees specializing in the areas of education, culture, health, sports, tourism, the media, film and young people, as well as an archival cooperation working group.

    To date, the Committee has met 16 times. The Mechanism’s Chinese committee is chaired by Vice Premier Liu Yandong, while the Russian committee is chaired by Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Golovin Gertz.

    As exchanges have deepened, areas of cooperation have been enriched. Steady progress has been made in such work as personnel training, university alliances, hygiene and disease control, tourism investment and media exchanges, as well as in such events as youth games, cultural festivals, film festivals, archive exhibitions and mutual visits by youth delegations.

    In 2014-2015, President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin backed the creation of a Youth Friendly Exchange Year. Within the framework of youth exchanges, both sides organized over 800 events, including a young students festival, young scholars seminar, young scientists forum, young reporters visit, young entrepreneurs club, young athletes training and young artists dialogue.

    In 2016, the China-Russia Media Exchange Year was scheduled to follow on from these events. On December 17, 2015, the closing ceremony of the China-Russia Youth Friendly Exchange Year and the opening ceremony of the China-Russia Media Exchange Year were held at the Great Hall of the People.

    Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev both attended the event and delivered speeches. Vice Premier Liu Yandong, Deputy Prime Minister Golovin Gertz, members of the China-Russia Cultural Cooperation Committee, and youth, media and educational representatives also attended the event. The 17th meeting of the China-Russia Cultural Cooperation Committee was held in Russia in July 2016.

    The 17th meeting of the China-Russia Cultural Cooperation Committee was held in Russia in July 2016. Photo by Dai Tianfang (Xinhua)

    China-US Social, and People-to-People and Cultural Dialogue
    (China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange)


    The China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange was established in 2010. The mechanism’s Chinese chairperson is Vice Premier Liu Yandong, and the US chairperson is Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

    On May 25, 2010, Liu Yandong and Hilary Clinton cochaired the first meeting of the mechanism at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing and signed a memorandum of understanding on behalf of their respective governments. When the mechanism was first set up, it mainly covered exchanges in the four main areas of education, science and technology, culture and sports, but has now developed to include seven key areas, namely education, science and technology, culture, health, sports, women and young people. Since 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry has served as the US chairpersonship.

    The China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange has met six times, with the meetings alternating between Beijing and Washington DC. Since 2014, the China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange and China-US Economic and Strategic Dialogue have been held at the same time, and President Xi Jinping always attends the opening ceremony and gives a speech.

    The China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange brings together various forces, and over the years there have been nearly 500 important items of consensus in seven key areas, namely education, science and technology, culture, health, sports, women and young people.

    It has also launched a number of important cooperation projects and events, including the Three Ten-Thousands Program, Zhi-Xing China Eisenhower Fellowship, Thousand Schools Holding Hands Conference, 100,000 Strong Educational Exchange Initiative, China-US Young Scientist Forum, Happy Chinese New Year event, China-US Health Summit, and a series of China-US youth exchanges.

    People-to-people exchanges now play an irreplaceable role in developing the new relationship between China and the US. The seventh China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange was held in China in June 2016.

    Editor’s note: Chinese President Xi Jinping and President of United States Donald Trump, wrapped up their first meeting on 6th and 7th April, 2017 in Florida. The two sides initiated the comprehensive economic dialogue, the diplomatic and security dialogue, the law enforcement and cybersecurity dialogue and China-US Social, and People-To-People and Cultural Dialogue.


    China-UK High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism


    During a visit to the United Kingdom in June 2011, former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao reached an agreement with British Prime Minister David Cameron to set up the China-UK High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism.

    On April 16, 2012, then State Councilor of China Liu Yandong and then British Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt co-chaired the launch ceremony and first meeting of the Mechanism in London, where they also signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Establishing the China-UK High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism on behalf of their respective governments, marking its formal establishment.

    Since the Mechanism was established, the areas it covers has expanded from six (education, science and technology, culture, sports, the media and young people) to nine (education, science and technology, culture, health, the media, tourism, sports, young people and local cooperation).

    Under the impetus of the China-UK High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism, exchanges blossomed in 2015 in a variety of forms. During Chinese New Year, with the help of hard work on both sides, a “Happy Spring Festival” event was held in the UK, which sparked strong interest in Chinese New Year and Chinese culture across Britain. The British Royal Family and dignitaries took part in the celebrations, and New Year’s greetings were conveyed through various channels.

    Prince Charles and his wife attended the first day of the London Chinatown Chinese New Year celebrations and wished Chinese people there “Happy New Year” in Chinese. Prince William also conveyed New Year greetings to the people of China via China Central Television. British Prime Minister David Cameron held a Chinese New Year reception at his official residence. The British Foreign Secretary, Home Secretary, Mayor of London and leader of the Labour Party also conveyed their best wishes to the people of China. That year, the two sides successfully held a number of events for the China-UK Year of Culture.

    The third meeting of the China-UK High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism was held in London on September 17, 2015, and areas of exchange were further expanded to include tourism and local cooperation, with a whole series of cooperation programs scheduled in the areas of education, health, science and technology, sports, culture, creative industries, tourism, young people and local cooperation. The fourth meeting of the China-UK High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism was taken place in China in December, 2016.

    On December 6, 2016, Vice Premier Liu Yandong attended the 400th Anniversary Seminar to commemorate the death of Tang Xianzu and Shakespeare in Shanghai. Photo by Liu Yin (Xinhua)

    China-EU High-Level People-to-People Dialogue


    The launch and first meeting of the China-EU High-Level People-to-People Dialogue was held in Brussels on April 18, 2012. The Chinese side appointed Liu Yandong, then State Councilor of China as its chairperson, while the EU side appointed the then European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Androulla Vassiliou as its chairperson.

    At the meeting, both sides signed the Joint Declaration of the First Meeting of the China-EU High-Level People-to-People Dialogue. When the Dialogue was first set up, it covered only the three areas of education, culture and young people, but has since expanded to cover the six areas of education, science and technology, culture, the media, women and young people.

    Under the framework of the dialogue mechanism, both sides have established the China-EU Higher Education Platform for Cooperation and Exchanges and have held two meetings to date; there have been three research trips to China involving 91 EU officials from the European Council, European Commission, European External Action Service and other EU institutions; three language seminars have been held; a number of projects have been launched, including the Tuning Project, a summer camp for European school students and a project for Chinese teachers of European languages other than English to train in countries where their language is spoken natively; and the China-EU School of Law at the China University of Political Science and Law, the China-EU Institute for Clean and Renewable Energy at Huazhong University of Science and Technology and other flagship Chinese and foreign cooperative education projects have been jointly organized.

    China and EU member states have opened cultural centers in each other’s countries, and cooperation has flourished and rich cultural exchanges have taken place in areas such as education, science and technology, culture, young people, the media and women.

    The third meeting of the China-EU High-Level People-to-People Dialogue was held in Brussels on September 15, 2015. Vice Premier Liu Yandong, for China, and European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, for Europe, attended the meeting and signed a joint declaration. Counterparts in various fields held consultations, providing strong impetus to people-to-people exchanges and practical cooperation.

    China-France High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism
    During a visit to France in March 2014, President Xi Jinping reached a consensus with French President Francois Hollande regarding the establishment of a deputy-prime ministerial people-to-people exchange mechanism. China and France subsequently held the launch ceremony and first meeting of the China-France High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism in Paris on September 18, 2014.

    Vice Premier Liu Yandong was appointed chairperson of the Chinese side and then Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was appointed chairperson of the French side. The French chairperson is now former Prime Minister and new Foreign Minister, Jean Marc Ayrault. Since the Mechanism was set up, its activities have covered 10 areas, namely education, science and technology, culture, health, the media, tourism, sports, women, young people and local cooperation.

    On May 15, 2015, the second meeting of the Mechanism was held in Beijing, during which 68 cooperation projects were planned for the next phase. Since the mechanism was launched, both sides have engaged in a number of landmark and highly significant projects involving practical cooperation and people-to-people exchanges, which have played a huge role in developing relations between the two countries.

    For example, more than 50,000 students have traveled to each other’s countries to study, representing a new upsurge in student exchanges between the two countries; China and France have joined forces to fight the Ebola virus; substantial progress has been made in cooperation between China, France and third parties, which has driven third-party cooperation involving both sides in the traditional areas of nuclear energy, aviation and aerospace; and the China-France P4 laboratory in Wuhan has been completed, the first such biological safety laboratory in Asia.

    The third meeting of the China-France High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism was held in France in June 2016.


    On June 30, 2016, Vice Premier Liu Yandong delivered a speech entitled Deepening the Innovation and Cooperation between China and France to Promote the Exchange of Civilizations at the Institute de France. Photo by Long Jianwu (Xinhua)

    China-Indonesia Deputy Prime-Ministerial People-to-People Exchange Mechanism


    In order to implement the important consensus reached between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indonesian President Joko Wododo, Vice Premier of the State Council Liu Yandong visited Indonesia on May 27, 2015, to launch, and co-chair the first meeting of the Deputy-Prime-Ministerial People-to-People Exchange Mechanism Between China and Indonesia, together with Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs, Puan Maharani.

    Both President Xi and President Wododo sent congratulatory letters for the occasion, affirming the Mechanism’s importance to both sides. The Mechanism is the first high-level people-to-people mechanism established between China and a developing country. It therefore not only serves as a milestone in China-Indonesia people-to-people exchanges, but also plays an exemplary and leading role for people-to-people exchanges between China and members of ASEAN.

    After the meeting, both sides signed the Joint Communique of the First Meeting of the Deputy-Prime Ministerial People-to-People Exchange Mechanism Between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Indonesia, which reaffirmed the important consensus between the two heads of state, recalled the important progress made in people-to-people exchanges between the two countries and looked to future development. Both sides also signed 11 agreements in the area of exchanges, six in the area of education, four concerning science and technology, and one related to culture.

    The Confucius Institute Headquarters(Hanban)and the Indonesian Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education signed an agreement on teaching Chinese, and the Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission and Indonesian Ministry of Health renewed two agreements, including the Memorandum of Understanding on Health Cooperation, both of which are currently being promoted.

    In order to build on the results from the first meeting, the Chinese government plans to make 100 more scholarships available to Indonesian students in the next three years (starting in the 2016/2017 academic year) and donate teaching equipment worth RMB 500,000 to the University of Indonesia; The Confucius Institute Headquarters(Hanban)will donate 500 Chinese language textbooks and invite 100-200 Indonesian students to China to attend the 2015 Chinese Bridge summer camp.

    The second meeting of the Deputy-Prime-Ministerial People-to-People Exchange Mechanism Between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Indonesia was taken place in China in August 2016.、

     

    Editor’s update:


    China-South Africa High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism


    China and South Africa on April 24 launched a people-to-people exchange mechanism and held its first meeting in Pretoria. Vice-Premier Liu Yandong, who is also co-chairperson of the China-South Africa High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism (PPEM), read out a congratulatory letter from President Xi Jinping for the first PPEM meeting.

    The establishment of the PPEM is a strategic decision made by President Xi and South African President Jacob Zuma in view of the overall situation of China-South African relations. It is also an important step to implement the outcomes of the 2015 Johannesburg summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, marking the launch of China’s first inter-governmental high-level PPEM with an African country.

    Liu said that the PPEM will play an important role in enhancing China-South African relations, deepening bilateral cooperation and facilitating South-South cooperation. Liu also called for the creation of a new pattern of people-to-people exchanges featuring governmental and nongovernmental efforts as well as the broad participation of various parties.


    China-Germany High- Level People-to-people Exchange Dialogue Mechanism


    During the meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Xi Jinping suggested that the China-Germany cultural exchange should be strengthened and got a positive response from Germany. In September 2016, during the G20 Hangzhou summit, President Xi Jinping and Chancellor Merkel agreed to promote the China-Germany cultural exchange, and the establishment of China-Germany high-level people-to-people exchange dialogue mechanism in the appropriate time.

    On the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Germany, the establishment of a high-level people-to-people dialogue mechanism between China and Germany will open up a higher level platform for further strengthening of humanistic exchanges and open up more channels for bilateral exchanges. People-to-people exchange, along with economic and trade cooperation, political mutual trust, have become the three pillars of Sino-German relations.

    The mechanism currently includes five arenas: education, culture, media, sports and youth. Vice-Premier Liu Yandong co-chaired the first meeting of the High-Level China-Germany People-to-people Exchange Dialogue Mechanism, with German Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, in Beijing, May 24, 2017. Liu read a congratulatory letter on behalf of President Xi Jinping for the meeting.

    Noting China-Germany relations were at their best ever, Liu said the two countries were highly complementary when it came to cooperation. The meeting would serve to consolidate public support and promote mutual learning in culture. Liu called for extensive, active participation from the two sides, increasing pragmatic cooperation and improving people-to-people exchanges to invigorate the China-Germany comprehensive strategic partnership.

    International exchanges depend on amity between peoples, and amity between peoples depends on mutual understanding. People-to-people exchanges are a way of increasing understanding and building mutual trust between countries and between people of different countries, and they are an inexhaustible driver for developing foreign relations.

    As Xu Tao, Director of the Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges of the Ministry of Education of China, says, strengthening people-to-people exchanges is an important strategy and specific manifestation of China’s peaceful development. The most important part of people-to-people exchanges is communication between people.

    Russian students practice their spoken Chinese with Chinese student volunteers. Photo by Jiang Kehong (Xinhua)

    Educational exchanges and cooperation facilitate close interactions between people, and they play a fundamental, widespread and ongoing role in developing China’s people-to-people exchange mechanisms and related activities, and have made a positive contribution to consolidating the foundations of people-to-people exchanges.

    At the same time, people-to-people exchange mechanisms have played a leading role in promoting educational reform and opening up in China as well as learning from the educational outcomes of others. Under the leadership of the State Council, members of these mechanisms have coordinated and reinforced all aspects of exchanges, constantly writing new chapters of exchanges and mutual learning between China and the other countries involved.

    Overseas students, experts in various fields, entrepreneurs, tourists and other members of the public are all part of the driving force behind people-to-people exchanges and goodwill messengers of exchanges and mutual learning between the cultures of China and the world.

    In the new historical period, in order to carry on people-to-people exchanges between China and foreign countries, it is necessary to increase participation by members of the general public and constantly improve the ideas behind exchanges, cultural self-awareness and their ability to participate in cross-cultural exchanges. The public should, therefore, take an interest in people-to-people exchanges and pool their efforts in an attempt to enrich and invigorate them.

    (Original Article written by The Office of People-to-People Dialogue Mechanisms Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges, Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, the editor upgrades with the last development. )
    China Scholars Abroad Vol. 315, May 2016.


    Quelle: 复旦中外人文交流,2017年8月24日

    http://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/Lg4xoskeCbsT8gsY09_g7A