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Youths play an important role in promoting mutual trust between China and Europe, Ji Ping, deputy secretary-general of the China Foundation for Peace and Development, said Tuesday at the 4th China-Europe High-level Political Parties Forum.
Ji Ping, deputy secretary-general of the China Foundation for Peace and Development, is interviewed during the 4th China-Europe High-level Political Parties Forum in Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu province, on April 23, 2013. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]
To help dispel doubts and build consensus between young leaders in China and Europe, the foundation organized the China-Europe Young Leaders' Dialogue during the forum.
Young leaders here include those in their 40s, in addition to people in their 20s and 30s. "It's a prime time for politicians in their 40s," Ji said.
"The dialogue emphasized cultural exchanges and is complementary to the forum," Ji said. The forum had three sub-forums that focused on politics, international relations and economic ties.
Ji stressed the importance of cultural exchanges. "In the final analysis, the relationship between China and Europe lies in culture. Whether it's about politics, foreign affairs or trade, it is in fact a dialogue between two civilizations."
The China-Europe Young Leaders' Dialogue was first held in 2012 during the 3rd China-Europe High-level Political Parties Forum. Starting this year, the dialogue will be organized by the China Foundation for Peace and Development.
As a grassroots organization, the foundation hopes to build a platform for young leaders to exchange ideas in language that can be easily understood by Europe. Such language is in contrast to language used in government work reports.
The foundation was started in January 2011. It is the first national foundation with the aim to support people-to-people diplomacy. The other two kinds of diplomacy are public diplomacy and party-to-party diplomacy.
The foundation is in contact with non-governmental organizations in other countries, serves as a charity and a think tank. It helped build hospitals, schools and other facilities in developing countries like Cambodia, Sudan, Pakistan and has organized forums and seminars to bring together opinion leaders from around the world to exchange ideas.