Friday February 21, 2020


November 26, 2013

Nearly two hundred and thirty years have passed since the U.S. Merchant Ship, the Empress of China, sailed in China’s waters.  This ship that landed in Guangzhou not only established U.S.-China trade relations but also marked the beginning of people-to-people exchanges between China and the United States.  Since this time, the U.S. and China have grown increasingly engaged in people-to-people exchanges in a variety of different mediums, including cultural exchanges, technology and information exchanges, and trade relations, that have helped Sino-U.S. bilateral relations grow.  Today, both China and the United States consider people-to-people exchanges a crucial aspect, not only to their foreign diplomacy, but also for the sustainability of a mutually cooperative U.S.-China relationship.

On November 21, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and Chinese Vice-Premier of the State Council Liu Yandong co-chaired the fourth U.S.-China High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) in Washington D.C.  The goal of the meeting was to implement the agreement President Obama and Preside Xi reached this past June regarding the construction of a new model of major-country relationships between China and the U.S.

Vice Premier Liu Yandong stressed the importance of this exchange by saying, “The key to sound relations between countries lies in the amity between their peoples based on mutual understanding.  Sincere people-to-people exchange can rise above differences in history, cultural, and social system to give a strong boost to relations between nations.”

Similarly, John Kerry also praised the importance of these changes, “By improving and expanding the ties between the people of our two countries, the CPE is providing critical gateways to important solutions.”  Additionally Kerry explained that enabling people in the U.S. and China to come together to discuss goals and ideas will lead not only to greater understanding, but also to stronger communication and partnerships between the two countries.

The United States and China launched the CPE in 2010, and since then have achieved significant results in promoting mutual understanding and cooperation between the U.S. and China in areas of education, science, technology, culture, sports, women’s issues, and young people.

While the exact language of what actually constitutes a people-to people exchange can be vague a complete official fact sheet by the CPE provides valuable insight.

Here at the U.S.-China Policy Foundation, we value people-to-people exchanges and consider them an important and crucial development in the betterment and strengthening of the U.S.-China relationship. We believe that cooperation and communication between Washington and Beijing, as well as an increase in mutual understanding between the nations’ two peoples, will have an impact not only on our current generation but for generations to come.

For further coverage of U.S. China People-to-People Exchanges please see the following new sources and commentary

USA TodayU.S. and China Strengthen bonds people-to-people

Global TimesChinese Officials Stresses China-US people-to-people exchanges

CCTVChina, U.S. reaffirm commitment to enhancing practical cooperation, people-to-people exchange

XinhuaChinese officials stresses China-U.S. people-to-people exchanges

Zee NewsUS, China to intensify people-to-people exchange

Complied and Edited By Madeline Fetterly