Chinese Vice-Premier visits Chicago, speaks on reforms
Updated: 2013-11-19 11:23
By Hu Haidan in Chicago (China Daily USA)
Chinese Vice-Premier Liu Yandong talks with Patrick M. Magoon, president & CEO, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago on Monday morning. Liu started her US visit in Chicago and will go to Washington and New York later. Hu Haidan / China Daily
Chinese Vice-Premier Liu Yandong attended the US-China University Presidents Roundtable at the University of Chicago on Monday during her visit to the United States at the invitation of US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Liu said China-US relations stand at an important historic juncture of building on the past and preparing for the future.
"I am visiting the US this time mainly to implement what our two presidents have agreed upon and co-chair with Secretary of State John Kerry the first High-level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange following the changes of administration in both countries," Liu said in Chicago, the first stop on her visit.
"Since the launch of this mechanism in 2010, it has yielded remarkable results in six areas, namely education, science and technology, culture, sports and women's issues and young people," said the vice-premier.
"With young people and innovation as its theme, this round of consultation will open up a new chapter for China-US people-to-people exchanges," Liu added.
During the round table discussion, Liu also described the current state of education in China to more than 20 university presidents from both China and the US.
She told a story to illustrate her confidence in building a new model of a major-country relationship between China and the US.
The story dates back 100 years when a Chinese worker named Dean Lung worked as a servant for an American named Horace Walpole Carpentier. When Dean retired, Carpentier offered to do everything in his power to grant Dean's wishes to thank him for his decades of good service. Surprisingly, Dean only asked for one thing: he wanted to donate his entire life savings - $12,000 - to create a department of Chinese learning in an American university under Carpentier's name so that more Americans could get to know his country and his countrymen. Deeply touched by his request, Carpentier took out almost all the money he had to join Dean and founded what would later become the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University.
"Every time we revisit such historical episodes from the depth of our past, we are always filled with warmth and strength," said Liu. "I am confident that our universities - as long as they treat each other with sincerity and learn from each other - will deliver a better future for all."
Participants in the roundtable discussed the relationship between contemporary universities and the government and society.
As the first overseas visit by a Chinese leader since the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Liu described reform plans to the US community.
Liu said the Third Plenum had ushered in a new round of reform and opening-up in China.
"China's reform is a strong force driving China's own development," said Liu. "We will rely on comprehensively deepening reform and opening-up to increase the creativity of society and realize the two centenary goals and the Chinese dream."
Earlier on Monday, Liu visited Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, where Patrick M. Magoon, president and CEO of the hospital, hosted a tour, during which Liu spoke with patients and handed out stuffed panda bears as gifts to children.
On Monday afternoon Liu met with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel who hosted a dinner the same evening followed by an NBA game, which Liu watched with NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver and retired Chinese NBA basketball star Yao Ming.
On Thursday Liu and Kerry will co-chair the fourth China-US High-level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange in Washington.
(China Daily USA 11/19/2013 page1)