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People-to-people exchanges become new pillar for China-ASEAN ties

DATE:2016-08-02       SOURCE:Xinhua News Agency

GUIYANG, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Premier Li Keqiang on Monday sent a congratulatory letter to the Ninth China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week, held in the southwestern city of Guiyang.


In the letter, Li said people-to-people exchanges, including education exchanges, are emerging as a new pillar in China-ASEAN relations and showing broad prospects.


This year marks the 25th anniversary of the China-ASEAN relationship. Li said China and ASEAN are good neighbors and partners, and communicate and cooperate in various fields.


Education is a fundamental way to cultivate the younger generation and create a better life, Li said.


This year is China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Year, Li said, and it will be marked by nearly 300 activities across China and ASEAN.


China is willing to work with ASEAN to provide more talent and intellectual support for each other to boost a closer China-ASEAN community of shared destiny, Li said.


In a congratulatory message, Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith expressed his hope that people-to-people exchanges will become a new pillar of strategic partnership between China and ASEAN.


Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong made a keynote speech during Monday's opening ceremony and she said education had been one of the highlights of increasing cooperation between the two sides in recent years.


China and ASEAN have hosted Education Cooperation Week for eight consecutive years, and have signed over 800 cooperation deals, according to Liu.


She said that China and ASEAN can share resources and draw on each others' strengths in education for mutual benefit.


She suggested the two sides could improve cooperation to draw on each others' strategies, build branding to expand the influence of education week, and enrich forms of exchanges to lift the level of cooperation in basic education, vocational education and linguistic education.


Liu also proposed a China-ASEAN maritime silk road scholarship to elevate student exchanges between China and ASEAN.


Over 1,400 people from China and ASEAN countries attended the opening ceremony on Monday.


Later on Monday, Liu hosted the second meeting of the cultural and people-to-people exchange mechanism between China and Indonesia at the vice premier's level with Indonesian Coordinating Minister of Human Development and Culture Puan Maharani.


Liu said that the mechanism, the first high-level cultural and people-to-people exchanges mechanism between China and developing countries, has achieved fruitful results over the past year in such areas as culture, education, health, sports, tourism, youth, and media.


The first meeting of this mechanism was held in May last year in Jakarta.


The two sides should adopt strategic thinking and take a long-term perspective, so as to make China-Indonesia cultural and people-to-people exchanges an ideal example of cooperation between China and ASEAN, Liu said.


Liu and Puan jointly witnessed the signing of eight cooperation deals covering areas including education, technology, culture, and forestry.


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