Cultural exchanges have boosted mutual understanding and trust between China and the United States as well as overall bilateral relations, said a Chinese envoy here on Thursday.
They play a key role in the China-U.S. bilateral relationship and can soften tensions during tough periods, Chinese Consul General in Houston Li Qiangmin told Xinhua after inaugurating a Chinese painting exhibition at Carter Center in Atlanta, capital of the U.S. state of Georgia, to mark the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Li said China's development and China-U.S. cooperation are mutually reinforcing processes that have served the interests of both countries and contributed to peace and prosperity in Asia-Pacific and the world at large.
The decision by the two countries' leaders to establish diplomatic relations in the 1970s also altered the way their peoples look at and interact with each other, Li noted.
There are 230,000 Chinese students studying in the United States and 24,000 American students studying in China, he said.
The sixth round of China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue and the fifth round of China-U.S. High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE), which ended in Beijing last week, produced over 300 specific results, covering almost every aspect of the bilateral relations and all important international issues of common concern. These results will certainly propel the bilateral relations, Li said.
He stressed that the two countries' shared interests have prevailed their differences and there is great potential for further bilateral cooperation.
"The cooperation is still at an early stage, and we need to do more. I am confident that in the coming 35 years, we can make the pie of their shared interests and cooperation even bigger," Li noted.
"Cultural exchanges will play a more active and powerful role in promoting the development of the China-U.S. relationship in the future," he added.
The painting exhibition, run by Chinese Artists Association and U.S. Carter Center, is one of projects under the fifth round of CPE.