The 10th Executive Council of the Chinese Association for International Understanding (CAFIU) held its third plenary meeting in Beijing on Friday.
The CAFIU, which is composed of social activists, scholars and representatives from all walks of life, is aimed at enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between China and other countries.
Zhou Tienong, president of the CAFIU, said in his address at the meeting that the non-governmental organization should play a "unique" role in creating a peaceful and stable international environment for China's development.
Zhou, also the deputy chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), called on the CAFIU to assist the country's overall diplomatic efforts, "open a new chapter" for public diplomacy and make unremitting efforts to promote the creation of a more harmonious world with lasting peace and common prosperity.
Wang Jiarui, minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, stressed the importance of public diplomacy in China's overall diplomatic undertakings, adding that public diplomacy can help increase mutual trust and clarify misunderstandings between China and other countries.
He called on the CAFIU to expand non-governmental exchanges and cooperation and create a good external environment for the upcoming 18th National Congress of the CPC and the implementation of China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015).
Since its founding in 1981, the CAFIU has formed ties with more than 200 social organizations, political parties, research institutes and international organizations in nearly 100 countries and territories.