|Liu Yandong Presides over the First Meeting of China-EU High-Level People-to-People Dialogue|
On April 18, 2012, State Councilor Liu Yandong and the EU Commissioner for education, culture, multilingualism and youth Androulla Vassiliou jointly inaugurated the China-EU High-Level People-to-People Dialogue (HPPD) and presided over the first meeting of the HPPD in Brussels, headquarters of the EU.
Liu said that Chin-EU relations have withstood the fluctuations of international situation and the two sides have become interdependent with more and more converging interests since the establishment of diplomatic ties 37 years ago. Under new circumstances, to develop the bilateral relations stably in the long run requires more engagement and support of the people. China-EU people-to-people exchanges, political mutual trust and economic and trade exchanges will promote and complement each other and jointly form the three pillars of China-EU relations. The launch of the HPPD responds to the call of the times and meets the sincere desire of the people on both sides. As a pioneering undertaking, it will further enrich the connotation of China-EU all-round strategic partnership.
She recalled the fruitful bilateral cooperation on education, language, culture and youth and raised four proposals for the development of the HPPD. First, take a forward-looking perspective, make strategic planning and enhance the vitality and efficiency of the HPPD; second, respect each other, treat each other as equals, seek the maximum consensus and cultivate tolerance to symbiosis; third, make more people participate in the undertaking of China-EU friendship; fourth, move forward step by step, focus on effectiveness, highlight priorities, take actions in phases, gradually expand cooperation areas and make people-to-people exchanges more productive. She also put foward specific proposals for cooperation in the framework of the HPPD.
She noted lastly that she believes the HPPD will become a strategic platform for the two sides to share information, expand consensus and deepen cooperation in the above-mentioned fields. It will open more channels for exchanges at different levels and in a wide range of areas between the two peoples and lay down a solid social foundation for the sustained development of China-EU relations.
Vassiliou expressed full agreement upon Liu's proposals. She said that people-to-people exchanges are the fundamental element of EU-China relations and lay down a solid foundation for the bilateral ties. In recent years, the bilateral cooperation on education, training, culture, scientific research, youth and multilingualism has gained significant progress. To launch the HPPD which is as important as the high-level strategic dialogue and the high-level economic and trade dialogue is the shared desire of the two peoples and a critical step foward of the bilateral relations. The EU will work with China to increase input in and enhance efficiency of the HPPD to bring more benefits to the two peoples.
After the meeting, Liu and Vassiliou signed the Joint Declaration of the First Meeting of China-EU HPPD and attended the luncheon hosted by Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for the Digital Agenda.