|Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong (central L) and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (central R) attend the second round of high-level consultation meeting on people-to-people and cultural exchanges between the two countries in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, April 12, 2011. [Zhang Jun/Xinhua]
The United States and China on Tuesday identified steps to further cooperation on education, an area in which the U.S. State Department said the two countries have a "robust" relationship.
The steps were discussed at the second annual high-level U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) co-chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and visiting Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong at the State Department, who both hailed the importance of people-to-people engagement.
The steps include the State Department sending more American students to study in China than to any other country, including through its Fulbright, Gilman, National Strategic Language Initiative-Youth and Critical Language Scholarship programs, and broadening through innovative ways the binational U.S.-China Fulbright program's reach to younger students from both countries in more fields and engaging community colleges through scholarly exchanges, the State Department said in a press release.
The U.S.-China Fulbright program has provided support for more than 3,000 American and Chinese students and scholars to study, teach and conduct research in one another's countries.
And highlighting their progress under the Joint Work Plan, a four-year framework for cooperation, the U.S. Department of Education and the Chinese Ministry of Education are convening more than 130 experts on career and technical education and the green economy, and on science education to learn from one another in ways that strengthen both education systems, the press release said.
It said that the Peace Corps and its Chinese partners discussed ways to build on the positive contribution of the U.S.-China Friendship Volunteers, who train future English teachers and develop the English skills of Chinese students in vocational areas, while U.S. and Chinese university leaders highlighted their growing collaboration on research and teaching, noting the importance of internationalizing their campuses to preparing students to succeed in an interconnected world.
People-to-People exchange "provides an inexhaustible driving force for deepening China-U.S. relations," Liu said to the press on Tuesday before co-chairing the meeting with Clinton.
"The robust educational relationship between the United States and China supports growing ties in every field, leaders in both countries recognize the importance of educational cooperation to ensuring a peaceful and prosperous future," the State Department said in its press release.
China and the United States launched CPE in May 2010 in Beijing to enhance and strengthen ties between their citizens in the areas of women's issues, education, culture, sports, and science and technology. The first CPE meeting was held on the occasion.