People-to-people exchanges stressed in China-Europe ties

Updated: 2011-09-15 09:27


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People-to-people exchanges stressed in China-Europe ties

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (R) talks with former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi prior to the China-Europe People-to-People Dialogue on Friendship and Cooperation that launched in Beijing, capital of China, Sept 14, 2011. Li Keqiang addressed the opening ceremony of the dialogue on Wednesday. [Photo/Xinhua] 

BEIJING - Vice Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday called for enhanced people-to-people contacts and cultural exchanges between China and Europe for stronger social foundations of their strategic cooperation partnership.

While addressing a China-Europe non-governmental dialogue launched in Beijing on Wednesday, Li said cultural exchanges connect people from different countries, and people-to-people diplomacy should serve as important part for a country's overall diplomacy.

"China-Europe people-to-people activities will help both sides to boost understanding, respect and accept each other's development path and cultural tradition, and facilitate balanced development of cultural exchanges and economic cooperation," Li said.

He called on non-governmental sectors of both sides to carry out exchange activities of various forms, and make new contributions to cementing China-Europe friendship and cooperation in the 21st century.

More than 300 delegates from China and 16 European countries gathered for the four-day dialogue to discuss how to boost non-governmental exchanges to consolidate China-Europe relations.

Li told the dialogue, themed "Cooperation across Space and Time," that China always treats Europe's development and China-Europe ties from a strategic and long-term perspective, and hopes to see a stable and prosperous Europe.

"We have confidence in Europe's economy and euro, and support some European countries' efforts to stabilize market, balance budgets and boost structural reform," he added.

"China will further expand trade and investment with Europe, continue to regard Europe as one of China's main investment markets, and enhance cooperation with European countries in macroeconomic policy-making, international financial system reform, and global governance," Li said.

The vice premier called on the two sides to seize opportunities, and combine Europe's advanced design and technology, and management expertise with the Chinese markets.

The dialogue drew a number of Chinese and foreign dignitaries, including Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying and former European Commission President Romano Prodi.