Remarks at the Closing Plenary of the U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange

Richard Stengel
Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs 
Beijing, China
July 10, 2014

Vice Premier Liu and Secretary Kerry, I want to personally acknowledge and thank Vice Minister Hao Ping, the working groups, and the pillar co-leads for their hard work in meetings yesterday. Our people to people engagement has been enhanced greatly by their dedication. Please let me take this moment to report a few of the achievements of their work.

The Culture Pillar is very proud of the projects that have unfolded since the last Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE), including the recent, highly successful China program at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which Minister Cai Wu visited during his stay in the United States. Carnegie Hall will bring the U.S. National Orchestra to China next summer and the Richmond Ballet will bring its dancers to "Meet in Beijing" next May for one of the largest arts festival in East Asia. In addition to bringing American culture to China, we are bringing Chinese culture and history to America. That includes the "Treasures from the Forbidden City" exhibition, a joint project by the Palace Museum of China and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Additionally, the National China Garden Foundation will create a "China Garden" at the National Arboretum in Washington. And this coming year, Chinese writers will participate in the prestigious ten-week residency International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, and through our "Museums Connect" program, U.S. and Chinese students will engage via a partnership between the Zhenjiang Pearl S. Buck Museum and the Pearl S. Buck House in Perkasi, Pennsylvania.

The Sports Pillar is happy to announce that since the last CPE, thanks to the contributions of the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Chinese General Administration of Sports, more than a dozen sports leagues and federations from China and the United States came together for various competitions and athlete exchanges. Athletes from both countries will compete in sports ranging from wushu to wrestling. Cooperation between the NBA and the Chinese Basketball Association is thriving. We announced the launch of "Project UNIFY" which will support exchanges between Chinese and American schools and universities in Special Olympics programming. This initiative supports play between people of all backgrounds and abilities. And yesterday, the Sports Pillar held the inaugural U.S.-China Sports Seminar, a discussion of the latest advances in sports science and technology in both countries. The United States was very pleased to welcome Major League Baseball as a first-time CPE participant.

Finally, it gives me great pleasure to announce some of the outcomes from the Women’s Pillar. This year the Women’s Pillar engaged the serious issues of women’s health and domestic violence. The U.S. Government and the All China Women’s Federation agreed to work together to explore technical assistance to address domestic violence in China. Building on successful past programs, the "Women in Public Service Project" housed at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. and China Women’s University in 2015 will bring together five colleges from around China to engage in women’s leadership programs in China. In addition, the grassroots work being done on breast cancer awareness, education and training by the All China Women’s Federation and the "Goldman Sachs' Breast Cancer Education and Awareness Initiative will be expanded to more places across China. And, finally, the All China Women's Federation and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves are working to ensure that women are an integral part of the national program to promote clean and efficient cookstoves in China.

Vice Premier Liu, Secretary Kerry. For all the achievements made at this year’s Consultation on U.S.-China People-to-People Exchanges, what impressed me the most was the enthusiasm and energy and spirit of innovation demonstrated by all of the participants. It is proof positive of the continued excellent collaboration between our nations. We look forward to seeing the results of the joint deliverables over the next year.