Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong on Monday put forward a four-point proposal for China's higher education reform during her visit to Chicago. Addressing a meeting of 22 Chinese and U.S. university presidents, Liu said, "To realize the 'Chinese dream,' the talents and education are fundamental." According to Liu, firstly, China should reform how talent is identified and then trained to improve the level of talent development, scientific research and social services, as well as cultural inheritance and innovation. Secondly, she said, the country needs to reform the allocation of resources by supporting higher education in the less-developed central and western regions and by improving the national financial assistance system to satisfy the demands for higher education from the poverty-stricken population. Thirdly, China should optimize the composition of manpower made up of people with different specialized talents and the regional distribution of talent, the vice premier said. Therefore, the country needs to promote the characteristic development of universities at different levels to enhance their ability to serve economic and social development, she added. Lastly, Liu said, China will build a modern university system by streamlining administration and delegating power to lower levels. The country will encourage universities to operate autonomously by law and practise democratic management. Chicago is the first leg of Liu's visit to the United States. Under the theme of "Young People and Innovation," she and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will co-chair the fourth China-U.S. High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange this week. China and the United States launched the consultation in 2010. Under the mechanism, the two countries have achieved remarkable results in the areas of education, science and technology, culture, sports, women's issues and young people.