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China, UK pledge to expand people-to-people, cultural exchanges

LONDON — The fifth annual UK-China High-Level People-to-People Dialogue concluded on Dec 7 with both sides vowing to expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges to consolidate the social and civil foundation for the bilateral relations.

The dialogue, jointly chaired by Vice-Premier Liu Yandong and British Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt, is the highest-level bilateral dialogue held in Britain this year.

Liu and Hunt signed a joint declaration of the fifth annual UK-China High-Level People-to-People Dialogue, and witnessed the signing of 10 cooperative deals in various fields.

People-to-people exchanges between the two sides have yielded substantial results since the mechanism was launched 5 years ago, with 50 cooperative agreements and 72 projects being sealed in such fields as education, science and technology, culture, health, sports, youth, tourism, media and regional cooperation, Liu noted.

By incorporating social equity and women’s rights, the mechanism this year has been expanded and enriched, said the vice-premier.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-Britain ties, said Liu, noting that a “Golden Era” in the bilateral relations has been ushered in by the leaders of the two countries.

Both sides should step up efforts to further improve the quality of the exchanges, and push the cooperation to a higher level to benefit a wider public in a move to contribute to the China-Britain ties, China-Europe ties and world peace and prosperity, said Liu.

Hunt, for his part, spoke highly of the achievements in people-to-people exchanges between the two sides in the past five years.

People-to-people and cultural exchanges play a significant role in enhancing the friendship and cooperation between the two peoples, he said.

Britain stands ready to work with China to push forward people-to-people and cultural exchanges for even more achievements, he said.

During Liu’s four-day trip to Britain, which concluded on Dec 7, she met with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Princess Anne and attended the UK-China Science and Innovation Forum with Prince Andrew.

The vice-premier also received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Edinburgh, and delivered a speech at the University of Oxford themed “Deepening People to People Exchange and Boosting the Development of the Golden Era.”

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