Youthful promise of closer relations

Updated: 2015-09-18 07:42

By Fu Jing and Zhang Chunyan(China Daily Europe)

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Youthful promise of closer relations

Vice-Premier Liu meets her European Union counterpart, Tibor Navracsics, at the third meeting of the EU-China High-Level People-to-People Dialogue on Sept 15.

Citing President Xi Jinping's proposals to forge peace, growth, reform and civilization partnership between China and the EU, Liu says deepening people-to-people exchanges could solidify the foundations of such partnership.

"I am here to help materialize President Xi's proposals, together with our European friends."

Liu began her visit to Belgium with a dinner discussion with 10 senior European experts on China who also are directors of Confucius Institutes. She also inaugurated the China Cultural Center in Brussels, located within walking distance of the European Union headquarters, with Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders.

"Belgians are readily becoming interested in China, and this cultural center will help bring our people closer to China," says Reynders.

Shi Jian, a professor at Sichuan University in China and long involved in EU-China studies, says more than 90 percent of European college students have not visited China. "The majority of their knowledge about China comes from the Internet, newspapers and TV, and less than 40 percent of that knowledge is from the classroom," Shi says.

"Chinese college students share a similar situation when talking about their knowledge of Europe."

In the UK, Liu is leading the third meeting of China-UK High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism along with the co-chair, British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Experts from both countries say people-to-people and cultural cooperation and exchanges have become increasingly significant in strengthening understanding, deepening friendship and promoting China-UK collaboration.