Series of exchanges likely after negotiations

Updated: 2012-05-05 07:44

By Cheng Yingqi and Tan Yingzi (China Daily)

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China and the United States have started a new round of negotiations on exchanges pertaining to culture, education and science and technology and have reached agreement on a series of projects to promote youth exchanges.

On Friday, Hao Ping, vice-minister of education, reported results from the past two days of negotiations between US and Chinese officials.

The two parties reached agreements on projects meant to provide music and dancing classes to young Chinese under the tutelage of US teachers, on exchanges of library and museum staff members and on communications among female leaders in both countries.

"On Thursday, US and Chinese representatives had a five-hour discussion on nearly 30 issues," Hao said. "We reviewed our past work, exchanged ideas on the next steps of our cooperation and reached a consensus."

The negotiations came as part of the third Annual China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange.

The past two rounds led to projects such as the US' 100,000 Strong Initiative, which calls for the country to send 100,000 students to study in China between 2010 and 2013. Last year, 23,292 US students were studying in China, a rise of 18.4 percent from the year before.

Hao Ping said China and the US are planning to embark on eight new education projects. One of their goals is to strengthen local governments' cooperation on primary education.

"This year we started to organize talks among state and provincial education officials," Hao said. "The cooperation has the goal of improving higher vocational colleges and community colleges in China.

"Also, we are pushing for teacher exchanges under the primary education program."

Meanwhile, the US is trying to send more students to receive primary education in China.

The Chinese government, for its part, offered 10,000 scholarships to US students from 2010 to 2013.

But to date, fewer than a quarter have been taken up, according to Liu Jinghui, secretary-general of the China Scholarship Council, which manages the government's scholarship programs.

At the International Education Summit in Washington on Thursday, she said one of the chief reasons so few people have applied for the scholarships is that the offers have not received sufficient publicity.

"The Chinese government and universities are trying to make the programs more available and attractive to American students," said Liu.

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