China, EU promote exchange among youth

Updated: 2011-10-22 22:35


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BEIJING - The EU-China Youth Leaders Summit opened here on Saturday with 92 young people from 27 EU countries gathered to discuss with their Chinese peers topics of climate change, sustainable development and youth development.

The three-day summit, co-organized by the All-China Youth Federation and the European Commission, is a part of the "flagship events" of the EU-China Year of Youth.

Young people from the two sides hold cluster sessions to discuss four topics of young people in an aging society, as well as world multi-polarity and the role of regional organization, climate change and sustainable development, and youth entrepreneurship/business leaders of the future.

Peter Matjasic, president of the European Youth Forum, said these were taken from several topics that had been discussed during the year.

"It's my most impressive experience ever in China," Matjasic said. "Young people are encouraged to speak frankly and openly."

Todor BG is a young man from Bulgaria. He has worked in his own software company for five years since he graduated from college. He came here to search for opportunities to cooperate with Chinese peers.

"China is a big market. We can exchange ideas on developing software products," Todor noted.

Premier Wen Jiabao and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barosso jointly initiated the EU-China Year of Youth during the 12th EU-China summit held in 2009.

The EU-China Year of Youth has been the biggest cultural exchange activity since the two sides established diplomatic relations.

The initiative aims to promote intercultural dialogue and strengthen mutual understanding and friendship between young people in China and the EU, as well as encouraging them to support the development of China-EU relations.

Dong Xia, Deputy Secretary-General of the All-China Youth Federation, said over 100 activities have been held since January and have brought positive results and had an extensive impact on the young people and youth organizations of both sides.

Matjasic said discussions are planned to determine when follow-up programs will take place to continue the dialogue and cooperation.

"We're looking forward to more youth initiatives between China and EU youth beyond 2011," he said.