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China, ASEAN to step up people-to-people interaction
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The 4th Conference on ASEAN- China People-to-People Friendship Organizations unveiled its cooperation plan here on Friday for the upcoming year, deciding to further consolidate their existing people-to-people friendship and cooperation.

Both ASEAN and China came up with future cooperation programs in the plan based on the five pillars of cooperation, namely economy and trade, culture and tourism, education, health as well as sports and youth.

On the part of economy and trade, various entrepreneurs forums and economic seminar as well as ASEAN-China product exhibitions will be held in order to facilitate market access into each others ' market.

These will be held in conjunction with the China-ASEAN Expo in 2010, World Expo in Shanghai and the oncoming establishment of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area in 2010.

The two-day conference, which ended here on Friday, saw the adoption of the Declaration on ASEAN-China People-to-People Friendship Organizations Cooperation Plan for the Year 2009-2010.

According to the plan, the parties involved agreed to receive youth arts and cultural troupes from China to perform in ASEAN countries and vice versa.

Seminars and contests related to history of cultural and friendship relations between ASEAN countries and China will be organized, while workshops and exhibitions aimed to introduce historical spots especially those declared as world cultural heritage sites by UNESCO will also be held.

In addition, cultural exchanges activities could be expected in line with major events such as the commemoration of the establishment of the diplomatic relations and the formation of the respective member associations.

On education, the participants to the conference agreed to organize seminars and conferences on "get to know China better" with Institute of Policy Studies, East Asian Studies Institute, various chambers of Commerce and Industry, Universities in China and ASEAN countries.

Officials from China and ASEAN are to interact socially to get acquainted with one another via training on public administration.

On health issues, ASEAN and China are to identify and share with member associations information of institutions which provide excellent medical treatment and services.

ASEAN-China Youth Dance Competition is made an annual event and held by rotation in China and ASEAN countries. Homestay, Summer Camps and sport tournaments will be held to establish closer ties.

(Xinhua News Agency July 17, 2009)

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