BEIJING, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping on Sunday encouraged people-to-people exchanges and cooperation between China and the United States.
"People-to-people exchanges form a significant foundation to boost the China-U.S. cooperation, and also an important part of establishing a new type of relationship between China and the United States," Xi said.
Xi made the remarks when meeting with a U.S. good-will delegation headed by the Governor of Iowa Terry Branstad and composed of Xi's American friends in Iowa back from 1985.
Xi said he was glad to meet his old friends from Iowa again following his visit to the United States in February, noting that China-U.S. relations have come to a critical stage of developing a new type of relationship featuring mutual respect, harmonious co-existence and win-win cooperation between major powers.
"It's not an easy job to accomplish," Xi told his American guests.
Citing the facts that about 9,000 people travel between the two countries every day and there are 160,000 Chinese students in the United States, Xi proposed that the two nations further boost their exchanges and cooperation in various fields and at various levels.
"We should remain creative and innovative to explore new areas and create new forms of strengthening exchanges between the two peoples," Xi added.
He called on his American friends to contribute more efforts and help raise the relations between China and the United States to a higher level.
Branstad said Xi's long-term relationship with Iowa has become a symbol of friendship between the two peoples, and it bears great significance to the future development of the U.S.-China relations.
Xi, then a local official from China's northern province of Hebei, visited Iowa in 1985 as a member of an agricultural delegation, and stayed at the homes of local residents.