Chinese Vice-Premier starts first round of China-US social and cultural dialogue

World Today

Chinese Vice-Premier starts first round of China-US social and cultural dialogue

China’s highest ranking female politician is in New York kicking off the first round of the China-U.S. Social and Cultural dialogue.

Vice-Premier Liu Yandong is focusing on the many cultural and educational ties between the two nations.

CGTN’s Karina Huber has more.

Chinese Vice-Premier Liu Yandong’s two-day visit to New York was action-packed.

She dined with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who’s been nicknamed an “old friend of the Chinese people.”

She watched a youth basketball game with Yao Ming, the first Chinese basketball player in the National Basketball Association. And she spent a large portion of her time highlighting the growing educational ties between China and the U.S.

At New York University, she was awarded the university’s Medal of Honor—its highest award–and she spoke at Columbia University about the importance of the China-U.S. relationship along with leaders of business, culture and diplomacy.

“Never before have our two countries shared such extensive, common interests and shouldered such important common responsibilities,” she said.

“Just as President Xi Jinping said, ‘We have one thousand reasons to make China-U.S. relations good and not a single reason to derail this relationship.’”

Henry Kissinger—who helped broker the normalization of China-U.S. relations 45 years ago—echoed the sentiment.

“What started as a strategic move by both China and the United States has evolved into an absolute prerequisite for world order,” he said.

Billionaire Steve Schwarzman spoke about the role education can play in fostering peaceful relations between the two nations.

He has invested $100 million in a new scholarship program that brings students from around the world to Beijing.

Schwarzman characterized the program, saying, “This project is a true collaboration between China and the United States and many other parts of the world to help build greater understanding and deeper ties between the next generation of leaders around the world.”

Liu’s visit to New York focused mainly on education and culture, but will take on a more political tone when she co-chairs an event in Washington with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Karina Huber, CGTN, New York.