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Innovators told they can help relations

By ZHANG RUINAN/HONG XIAO | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-27 06:45

Vice-Premier Liu Yandong and retired NBA All-Star Yao Ming pose with players from the high school and middle school affiliated with Shanghai Jiao Tong University before a China-US friendship game at Nike's New York headquarters on Monday. [Photo by ZHANG RUINAN/CHINA DAILY]

Innovation cooperation between China and the United States has provided great opportunities for the people of both nations, Vice-Premier Liu Yandong said on Monday.

Liu's first stop on her visit to the US was the 2017 China-US Young Maker Summit and China-US Youth Innovation Center inauguration ceremony on Monday at New York University. The event was part of the China-US Social and People-to-People Dialogue.

Liu visited the work exhibited at the China-US Young Maker Competition from NYU and Chinese universities, accompanied by NYU President Andrew Hamilton.

"Innovation cooperation is one of the most dynamic and the most highlighted components of people-to-people exchanges between China and the US," Liu said.

"Both Chinese and American people are all very creative," Liu said. "The US has been the center of global technological innovation, and today's China has put innovation as the primary driving force, implementing the strategy of innovation-driven development."

She added, "I hope the young people in both China and the US would be the main driver of innovation development and the vanguard of China-US cultural exchanges, injecting positive energy into the development of China-US relations."

Hamilton said, "We have American students launching startups in China, and we have Chinese startups in the US. What can be better than that? That's what comes from collaboration."

Liu watched a China-US youth basketball friendship game, accompanied by basketball Hall of Famer Yao Ming at Nike's New York headquarters on Monday.

"Basketball is a favorite sport for both Chinese and American people," Liu said. "And it's also an important vehicle for people-to-people exchanges."

She added, "The US is a sports power, and more importantly a basketball power. So this kind of basketball exchange between China and the US can also help students become good friends, improve their basketball skills and deepen the understanding between the two nations."

Sean O'Hollaren, senior vice-president of Nike, said, "We believe in the power of sports to connect us. What basketball can do is to bring us together-two great teams from around the world-and also develop international understanding and foster people-to-people exchanges."

Liu was awarded the NYU Medal of Honor on Monday. The university's highest honor was bestowed by Hamilton at a ceremony at the university.

On Monday, Liu also visited the IBM Watson Center in New York. She noted that it was the 39th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up and IBM was one of the first foreign companies to enter the Chinese market

Liu said her visit to the US was based on the consensus reached by President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump during their meeting in April at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

At that meeting, the two sides agreed to establish high-level dialogue mechanisms, including a diplomatic and security dialogue, a comprehensive economic dialogue, a law enforcement and cybersecurity dialogue and a social and people-to-people dialogue.

Liu and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will co-chair the social and people-to-people dialogue on Thursday in Washington.

Hong Xiao in New York contributed to the story.

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