China and the United States agreed Tuesday to launch an expanded student exchange program, offering US students 100,000 more places in China over the next four years.
"China would like to provide positive assistance to the U.S. initiative to send 100,000 students to study in China over the next four years," said State Councilor Liu Yandong while meeting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the sidelines of bilateral strategic and economic dialogues.
She said China would increase the number of government-funded scholarships for Chinese who want to pursue doctorates in the U.S..
Liu added the two countries should explore new ways and content of people-to-people and cultural exchanges.
Clinton said the United States would like to see a steady increase in the number of student exchanges between America and China, adding it could deepen mutual understanding and friendship among youth of both countries.
Currently, more than 300 million Chinese people are learning English, and about 100,000 Chinese students are studying in the U.S., while about 20,000 U.S. students are pursuing studies in China, said Liu.
The talks between the two senior officials also mark the first meeting of the China-U.S. High Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchanges, which was agreed during President Barack Obama's China visit last year.