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China's People-to-people Diplomacy and Its Importance to China-EU Relations

Shichen Wang

People-to-people exchange has been a heated topic of China's foreign policy. Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, China has established people-to-people dialogues with the United States, the EU, the United Kingdom, France and Russia. In 2012, China and the EU established a high-level dialogue for people-to-people exchange, making people-to-people exchanges the third pillar of China-EU relations. However, China's people-to-people diplomacy is lack of understanding while the importance of people-to-people diplomacy in China's foreign policy and China-EU relations is still underestimated. Along with the new Chinese leadership and transform of China's foreign policy, people-to-people diplomacy will play an important role in the future. This paper aims to review the history and current situation of China's people-to-people exchange and examine its importance in China-EU relations. This paper consists of five main parts. The first part will review the development of China's people-to-people diplomacy from the 1950s to the present. The second part will examine China's driven powers of people-to-people diplomacy especially in recent years. The third part focuses on the institutional building of China's people-to-people exchange. The fourth part reviews the positions and policies of the EU and its three member states the United Kingdom, France and Germany on people-to-people diplomacy. The fifth part will evaluate the current situation of China's people-to-people exchange with the EU and its member states in order to reveal the importance and the potentiality of it before the conclusion.

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