The Sino-European Youth Information Center (SEYIC) website was officially launched at a ceremony in Beijing on Monday.
Jointly established by the China Youth Computer Information Network and Walueurope, a Rome-based company that provides information on European themes, the website (http://china.youth.cn) aims to promote information and cultural exchange, strengthen cooperation and advance friendship between Chinese and European youths. One of its objectives is also to provide young people with a source of practical and diversified information services.
In Beijing, the project is supported by the Communist Youth League of China, All China Youth Federation, the Italian Embassy, and the European Youth Forum.
The website includes information in Chinese and English divided into columns such as News, Education, Employment, Culture and Travel. The Chinese version carries information on 25 EU nations, covering hot topics such as studying, working and traveling in the EU.
The English version introduces Europe's young people to Chinese culture and opportunities in China's rapidly developing economy. It also describes the Chinese education system, provides online learning services, and information on what China looks for in terms of foreign talent.
Italian and French versions will be available soon, according to Ms Ouyang Xiangqun, president of the China Youth Computer Information Network.
Delivering his speech at the opening ceremony in Chinese, Serge Abou, ambassador of the EU delegation of the European Commission, talked of high expectations for the website in relation to helping to improve Sino-European ties.
Quoting the late Chairman Mao, he said: "We should know where we are from, where we are going and where we are."
"China is the EU's biggest partner in trade and research. Trade between China and EU was worth US$240 billion last year. China will account for 15 percent of global GDP (gross domestic product) in 20 years. By that time, the two blocs will account for one third of global GDP."
"China-EU cooperation is into its 21st year. In that time, frictions have occurred. But this is life. What we need to do is reducing those frictions by enhancing and deepening the understanding between the two sides, not only in economic terms but also in personal and cultural terms."
According to Giacomo Filibeck, PR Manager of Walueurope, china.youth.cn supports everything but fear: "We are against the irrational fear of threat that stems from the ignorance of another culture. We are committed to working hand in hand for a peaceful and stable world."
Another ceremony will be held in Florence, Italy, at the end of May in conjunction with the "Year of Italy in China" activities, which started in January.
China Youth Computer Information Network is the largest youth-oriented website and is ranked as one of the eight key news websites supported by the government. It receives over ten million hits a day.
(China.org.cn by staff reporter Li Shen, May 9, 2006)