U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 7, 2016

Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong co-chaired the seventh annual U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) June 6th and 7th in Beijing, China. The CPE was created to deepen ties between the citizens of the United States and the People’s Republic of China in the areas of culture, education, science and technology, sports, women’s issues, and health. Much of the success of the CPE is due to the dynamism and commitment of the many American non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as universities, museums, foundations, advocacy groups, cultural institutions, and sports groups that are engaged in a broad spectrum of exchange programs in partnership with Chinese organizations and the many Chinese citizens active in promoting people-to-people ties. The active involvement of civil society and academia in U.S.-China exchanges promotes mutual understanding through collaboration and inquiry. As a result, the United States views the new Chinese Foreign NGO Management Law with concern, and we urge China to implement the provisions of the law in a way that does not impede the activities of organizations, including those involved in people-to-people exchanges.

Culture: Cultural exchanges provide the foundation for people-to-people engagement between the United States and China. The Cultural Pillar is committed to expanding outreach efforts to young and underserved audiences through the performing and visual arts, supporting work that conserves and protects our cultural heritage, and fostering cooperation among cultural institutions, representatives, and scholars.

  • Exchanges: The U.S. Department of State is continuing to reach out to women, youth, ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities by hosting exchanges through programs such as the American Film Showcase, American Music Abroad and the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, as well as through cultural performances and exhibitions sponsored by the U.S. Mission at Chinese cultural and educational institutions. Such performances and exhibitions are designed to introduce Chinese audiences to American performers and entertainment genres, American history and values, and the U.S.-China relationship.
  • American Arts Incubator: This new exchange program in Wuhan, China in spring 2016 integrated technology with art, teaching youth to create virtually augmented realities, and included micro-grants in support of projects proposed by teams of young participants to explore Wuhan’s history, environment, and urban development.
  • Continued Cooperation with the Private Sector: People-to-people programs continue to thrive among our private sector partners. This year, the United States highlighted the work of such CPE private sector participants as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Peabody Essex Museum, the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, Ping Pong Productions, and the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer Sackler Galleries.

Education: The robust educational links between the United States and China are helping to strengthen our bilateral relationship. China sends the greatest number of international students to the United States, and the United States provides the second largest group of international students to China. Cooperation between our educational institutions continues to expand, helping to generate the knowledge we need to solve global challenges.

  • Support for Language Learning: Under the Education Pillar, we discussed our support for Chinese and English language learning and its importance as a foundation for broadening people-to-people cooperation across all aspects of our relationship. We welcomed the efforts of the 1 Million Strong Initiative, which aims to have one million Americans learning Mandarin by 2020. The 100,000 Strong Foundation is leading this effort with support from the Ford Foundation and partners such as Schwarzman Scholars and the Asia Society. The organization is rebranding itself as The U.S.-China Strong Foundation to reflect its evolving mission to include both language learning and study abroad. In support of English for All, we are working with the Peace Corps and our Chinese partners to strengthen English language teaching and learning in China for thousands of teachers and millions of students through the efforts of Friendship Volunteers, U.S. Department of State English Language Fellows, and Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants.
  • Fulbright Program: We have agreed to expand our joint recruitment for Fulbright Visiting Researchers by opening access for participation to faculty from all Chinese universities in all geographic areas. We will also pilot recruitment from high school teachers in Beijing for Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants in the United States. Beginning in 2017, we will support intensive English language study for incoming Chinese Fulbrighters from outside the major cities to expand the pool of those who can participate in our programs and facilitate study in the United States.
  • Increasing Study Abroad: We are working to ensure that our exchange programs fully represent the rich diversity of our respective societies. The U.S.-sponsored Gilman Scholarship provides opportunities for hundreds of U.S. students to study in China each year who might not otherwise have been able to go abroad, and we welcomed Airbnb’s announcement of its support. Also, with the support of the Chinese government, a network of U.S. Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Chinese universities has significantly increased both the number of institutions and the number of students who have participated in short and long-term exchanges over the past year.
  • Developing Young Leaders: Focusing on students, the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy announced the launch of its Young Ambassadors Program which will serve as an umbrella for the Center’s support of the next generation of leaders. Also, the Schwarzman Scholars program will welcome its inaugural class of 109 students this fall to Tsinghua University.
  • University Collaboration: University collaboration across all fields is helping to generate the knowledge needed to solve global challenges, including climate change, sustainability, and the environment. U.S. and Chinese universities are engaged with their counterparts to advance human progress in areas of common endeavor. The U.S. will continue to support American Cultural Centers’ programming which brings together Chinese and American universities to share American culture and values with Chinese audiences.

Science and Technology: Collaboration in science and technology is an important and dynamic area in the bilateral relationship, dating back to the 1979 U.S.-China Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement. Through the Science and Technology Pillar, the United States and China are using a variety of tools to enhance public dialogue on science between our two societies, educate the public on the role of science in society, and explore issues of interest to young scientists.

  • 2016 Young Scientist Forum in Beijing: The Young Scientist Forum (YSF) in Beijing is a valuable tool for building relationships between young scientists from the United States and China. This will be our 10th YSF in Beijing.
  • 2016 Young Scientist Forum in Washington, D.C.: The 2016 YSF in Washington will focus on how scientists can leverage the participation of citizen scientists to address chronic environmental health issues. In particular, early career scientists will explore how public data collection and analysis, as well as transparent, robust risk communication, underpin meaningful strategies for reducing hazardous chemicals in air, water, and soil. This will be our 11th YSF in Washington.

Sports: More than 40 years after our two countries thawed relations using “ping pong diplomacy,” U.S.-China sports diplomacy has become both broader and deeper. In the Sports Pillar, through seminars, athlete exchanges, and joint competitions, our two countries are using sports as a bridge to connect our citizens.

  • Private Sector Collaboration: The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Chinese Basketball Association continue to cooperate through athletic exchanges, training, and mentoring opportunities, while Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL), and Under Armour, among others, advance opportunities for further collaboration in China.
  • Sports Seminar: Sports United and the Chinese General Administration of Sports will organize the 3rd annual U.S.-China Sports Seminar in Beijing, China following this year’s CPE. The theme is “Sport and Athletes: Performance Innovation in Health, Fitness, Practice, and Theory.”
  • Disability Sports: The Special Olympics, U.S. Olympic Committee, U.S. Paralympic Committee, and the Chinese Disabled Persons Federation will again participate this year to highlight people-to-people exchanges and efforts to increase inclusion among all aspiring athletes.
  • Athlete Exchanges: More than a dozen sports leagues and federations from both China and the United States came together for various competitions and athlete exchanges.

Women’s Issues:[1] Launched in 2011, the U.S.-China Women’s Leadership Exchange and Dialogue (“WE-LEAD”), led by the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI) and the All China Women’s Federation (ACWF), brings together women leaders of both countries to discuss and tackle issues of mutual concern. They decided on the following activities:

  • Raising Awareness on Domestic Violence: The Secretary's Office of Global‎ Women's Issues (S/GWI) and the All-China Women's Federation will cooperate on the advocacy and publicity of Anti-Domestic Violence Law of the People's Republic of China in American companies operating in China in order to increase awareness of the law.
  • WE-LEAD: The Secretary's Office of Global‎ Women's Issues (S/GWI) and the All-China Women's Federation will co-host the Ninth Women's Leadership Exchange and Dialogue (WE-LEAD) during the 2017 U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchanges hosted in Washington.
  • Third Country Cooperation: The Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues (S/GWI) and the All-China Women's Federation will conduct substantive consultations and design a project to improve women’s entrepreneurship in a country in the Pacific. ‎

Health: Since the first Health Pillar dialogue took place last year, participants have strengthened and expanded cooperation in the area of non-communicable diseases. This year, they built upon their efforts, committing to increase collaboration and share best practices in education and workforce development.

  • Cardiac Care Collaboration: The American Heart Association and the Chinese Society of Cardiology will collaborate, develop, and implement a quality improvement program focused on improving the System of Care for the patient experiencing an ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction, (STEMI) in China, the deadliest form of heart attack. The American Heart Association works with the Ministry of Science and Technology on health science discovery and the China Social Assistance Foundation on CPR training for the general public.
  • Breast Cancer Prevention: Goldman Sachs and the All China Women’s Federation will continue to promote breast cancer and cervical cancer awareness and enhance capacity at the provincial level with support from the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China and the Department of Health and Human Services of United States.
  • Promoting Exchange: The National Health and Family Planning Commission of China and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will support the organization of the 6th U.S.-China Health Summit in September 2016 in Xi’an China.

Professional Development: The China Medical Board and Peking Union Medical College Hospital will jointly organize the 2nd Annual Residency Education Conference to train the next generation of Chinese clinical education leaders in September 2016.


[1] Updated on June 21, 2016.