By Zhang Mengxu, Zhang Penghui, Li Zhiwei, People's Daily
The hope and foundation of the China-U.S. relationship lie in the people, and its future lies in the youths, said Chinese President Xi Jinping when replying to a letter from the U.S.-China Youth and Student Exchange Association and friendly personages from all
walks of life in the U.S. state of Washington.
In his reply, Xi thanked the writers of the letter for their good wishes for China's hosting of the 31st International University Sports Federation (FISU) Summer World University Games in Chengdu and the Hangzhou Asian Games.
He hopes more youths from China and the United States can get to know each other, move forward together, become generational ambassadors of bilateral friendship, and continuously inject impetus into the development of bilateral ties.
In their letter to Xi, the association and the friendly personages from all walks of life in the U.S. state of Washington wished China a success in hosting the Chengdu FISU Games and the Hangzhou Asian Games, and expressed their commitment to continuously enhancing youth cooperation and people-to-people exchanges between China and the United States.
David Chong, founder and president of the U.S.-China Youth and Student Exchange Association, said he was excited and honored to receive the response from Xi.
When meeting with Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in Beijing this June, Xi noted that the foundation of China-U.S. relations lies in the people, and China always places its hope on the American people and wishes all the best for the friendship between the two peoples.
Chong said after reading the news of the meeting between Xi and Gates, he immediately shared Xi's views with many friendly personages in Washington and they all expressed deep agreement.
From that time Chong and other friendly personages in Washington decided to write to Xi and express their ideas of promoting youth, sub-national, and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, Chong noted.
He said the reply represented the Chinese President's recognition of and support for the efforts made by the U.S.-China Youth and Student Exchange Association to promote youth and student exchanges between the United States and China. In fact, such exchanges are also supported by people from all walks of life in U.S. states and cities.
Chong believes that with Xi's care and encouragement, as well as the support of personages from all sectors in the United States, more and more young people will commit themselves to China-U.S. people-to-people exchange activities to help Americans understand an authentic China in an all-round manner.
He told People's Daily that it was Xi's encouragement that inspired him to establish the U.S.-China Youth and Student Exchange Association with friendly and renowned personages in Washington. He hopes to build a platform for sincere exchange, enhanced understanding, and friendship between American and Chinese youth and students.
Ron Chow, co-chairperson of the U.S.-China Youth and Student Exchange Association, said he believes that exchanges and cooperation between American and Chinese youth and students will become even closer and yield more abundant fruits.
"We hope to jointly create more learning and exchange opportunities for the next generation and contribute to the steady development of bilateral relations," he added.
In July of this year, the Association organized a group of high school teachers and students from Steilacoom, Washington to participate in the 17th Shanghai International Youth Interactive Friendship Camp.
According to Chong, some American parents were worried about their children's trip to China due to the influence of negative U.S. media coverage on China. However, after returning from China, these students told their parents that the China they saw was completely different from U.S. media reports. They said the country is developing rapidly and full of vitality, and the Chinese people are very friendly. They hope to come to China again next year to participate in youth exchange activities, Chong noted.