Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong at the U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) with Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong on April 12, 2011. Secretary Clinton and Chinese State Councilor celebrated the achievements of U.S.-China People-to-People engagement over the past year. The Secretary said working for greater understanding and cooperating is in the best interest of our nations and our people.
Secretary Clinton said, "...We are very grateful that we now have this opportunity to enhance mutual understanding between the American and Chinese people by increasing direct ties between our people not in a time of war, but in a time of peace and hope. Last year's inaugural meeting of the U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange was a very good start. And today, we have heard excellent reports from Minister Hao and Secretary McHale.
"We also have with us today a wonderful group of Americans and Chinese from the areas of culture, education, science and technology, sports, and women's issues. I don't know whether you and I will play ping-pong in public. That may be a bridge too far. But I do know that we will continue to support this important process. It is already achieving results. First, I am delighted by today's announcement that we will broaden one of our most successful exchange programs -- the U.S.-China Fulbright Program. The Fulbright Program has already brought more than 3,000 American and Chinese graduate students and scholars to study, teach, and research in one another's countries. And we will now enhance these exchanges to include master's degree students and community college faculties.
"More Americans are now studying in China than in any other foreign country. Our goal is to send 100,000 students to China over the next four years. And I am pleased to announce that the American private sector is showing increased support for the 100,000 Strong Initiative with new commitments from Goldman Sachs, Amway Corporation, and laureate international universities. And thank you so much, State Councilor, for your announcement of an additional 10,000 scholarships for Americans who wish to study in China. This is in addition to the 10,000 bridge scholarships that the Chinese Government offered last year, and we are very touched by this strong signal of support.
"We also celebrate last month's announcement that New York University will open a campus in Shanghai in 2013. And we have with us today the president of NYU, President John Sexton, if you would stand. It is President Sexton's vision to expand his university internationally while maintaining its reputation for excellence and academic freedom, and we're very excited about this endeavor which means so much to both of us.
"I'm also pleased that we have a very robust set of exchanges -- universities and dance companies, environmentalists and technology experts, ping pong players, video game developers -- all of these and many more have a role to play in helping to create more understanding between our two countries. As you said, State Councilor, both President Obama and President Hu believe deeply that helping people expand their personal, commercial, professional, philanthropic exchanges really does pay enormous benefits.
"And governments need to provide an open environment that can create those kinds of candid exchanges as we just saw in the video from our respective young people. We want to see robust, open exchanges, and to lay a firm foundation for cultural and educational understanding. We think that creating the environment in which people pursue their own dreams, hopes, and aspirations will lead to not only greater understanding, but increasing cooperation and partnership between our two countries.
"Now we've seen the results of these U.S.-Chinese people-to-people exchanges in many areas. We very much appreciate the support that our Friendship Volunteers have received from the Ministry of Education and the China Education Association for International Exchanges. We will, as Under Secretary McHale said, look forward to increasing our exchanges between our young researchers and scientists. And of course, because we both believe that progress on so many global issues is linked to progress on empowering girls and women, I'm particularly pleased that the state councilor and I have agreed to launch the new U.S.-China Women's Leadership Exchange and Dialogue. We're calling it Women-LEAD. I want to thank both Ambassador Melanne Verveer and the All-China Women's Federation's Vice President Meng Xiaosi for this initiative and their willingness to lead our efforts. We think it will help bring talented women together to tackle common problems and raise the visibility and opportunities of both women and girls.
"This relationship is one that both of our presidents have made a very important part of each of our nation's foreign policy in the 21st century. It is not only, however, our two governments that will shape the relationship. Leaders are on the stage for a period of time, but the people endure. And the people's relationships is what will give China-U.S. relationships a very strong foundation going into the future.
"We will not always agree. There is no doubt of that. I know of no two people -- I don't even know within a family -- that everyone agrees. But we believe strongly that working for greater understanding, finding new ways not only of communicating, but of cooperating, is in the best interest of our nations and our people. We think the more our people learn to cooperate and collaborate, the more that China and the United States will be able to find solutions to many global challenges. We both face climate change issues, weather changes, food security, environmental problems, educational issues, healthcare challenges, and we want to work to make sure we know the best solutions that can be applied everywhere. So I thank you so much, State Councilor. You understood this from the very beginning, you have championed it within your government. I am pleased that both of us are able to continue this work together and I am excited by what lies ahead.""The future is, as you said, in these young people, and I'm very optimistic about that future. I loved going to the Shanghai Expo, which was such a great accomplishment of China, and I loved seeing young Americans speaking Chinese to many of the Chinese visitors. I was very proud of our young Americans and I was delighted by the response that they were provoking with many Chinese people I think coming because it was such a novelty to have someone speaking to them in their own language, and it was also a lot of fun because a lot of the Chinese visitors were helping to correct and teach the Chinese language students. But it was so wonderful to see that person-to-person interaction.
"Sometimes governments get all tied up in problems, and people say, "I could solve that tomorrow." I think by letting people have more of an opportunity to listen and learn with each other, we in government will learn as well. So this not only a very exciting adventure, I think it holds tremendous promise for the relationship that we value so greatly. We were delighted by President Hu's successful visit in January. We are building on that, and we continue to look for even more ways to broaden and deepen our relationship, and people to people is the key."
You can read the Secretary's complete remarks here.
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