BEIJING, July 10 (Xinhua) -- China and the United States forged a set of practical agreements on people-to-people exchanges as the world's two biggest economies held wide-ranging annual talks on Thursday.
Strategic mutual trust, economic and trade cooperation, and people-to-people exchange are the three indispensable backbones of Sino-U.S. relations, said Vice Premier Liu Yandong at the fifth round of High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE), which started Wednesday.
"Efforts are needed to help young people of the two countries understand and respect each other's differences in history, culture and systems," Liu said, urging more frank dialogues between people.
During the two-day talks, China and the United States reached a 104-item agreement aimed at increasing cooperation in education, science, culture and sports.
The two countries will work together to continue the promotion of Confucius Institutes in the United States, according to the agreement.
China began to set up Confucius Institutes abroad in 2004 and has established over 430 institutes around the world, with 98 in the United States by the end of 2013.
Efforts will be made to sharply increase the number of students studying in each other's countries to boost communication among young people, the two sides pledged at the talk.
A total of 400 African-American students will be funded by the Chinese government to study in China from 2014 to 2017, the agreement said.
Apart from education cooperation, exchanges in tradition and culture will be boosted among people of the two countries. Chinese traditional martial arts and Qigong, a system of deep breathing exercises, will be promoted in the United States, while American pop bands and dance troupes will perform for Chinese audiences.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who co-chaired the CPE with Liu, said the United States attaches great importance to people-to-people exchanges and is willing to work together with China to increase mutual trust among people and build a new model of relations.
The annual CPE focuses on closer links between the two countries' youth, with highlights including a school cooperation program proposed by Xi's wife Peng Liyuan and Obama's wife Michelle Obama and a commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the exchange of students.