The Third China-U.S. Non-governmental (Civil Society) Peace Forum opens in Changzhou, Jiangsu province on Sunday, June 20, 2010. More than 60 government officials, scholars and experts from both China and the US, including Yan Junqi, vice chairwoman of the National People's Congress of China (NPC), and Li Jinjun, CPAPD advisor and deputy minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China, have attended the forum. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com/Zheng Zhi]1 2 3
With the main theme of "Peace, Reconciliation and Harmony", the Third China-U.S. Non-governmental (Civil Society) Peace Forum was held Sunday in Changzhou, east China's Jiangsu province.
Jointly sponsored by the Chinese People's Association for Peace and Disarmament (CPAPD) and the U.S.-based American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), this year's forum, which gathers some of the most promininent scholars and experts of the related fields from both countries, particularly focuses on some of the hottest issues concerning China and the U.S., such as the ongoing bilateral trade frictions and "harmonious society construction", which now tops the Chinese government's agenda. Participants at the forum also discussed issues on international peace and security and social management.
"The China-US Civil Society Peace Forum has played a positive role in enhancing the mutual understanding and friendship between the peoples of both countries, and deepening bilateral nongovernmental exchanges. It also contributes to laying a social and civil foundation for all-round China-US cooperative relations in the 21st century", said Yan Junqi, vice chairwoman of the National People's Congress of China (NPC), the country's top legislature, at the opening address of the forum.
"Today's peace forum allows us to begin and continue many conversations, the most important task and achievement for today is to build the foundations and relationships that will allow us to continue to learn from one another and to imagine and build together over the future and for the future," remarked Joseph Gerson, a senior official of the AFSC and also head of the US delegation.
As part of the forum activities, the US delegation also visited some universities, social organizations and US-invested companies in Beijing, Nanjing and Shanghai to get some first-hand experience of Chinese society.
Founded in June 1985 by various concerned organizations and prominent persons from all walks of life in China, the CPAPD is the largest nationwide non-governmental peace organization with a total of 24 important member organizations. So far, it has maintained cooperative relations with nearly 300 nongovernmental peace organizations and academic institutions from 90 countries.
The contact between China and the AFSC, an organization founded in 1917 as a combined effort by American members of the Religious Society of Friends, can be dated back to China's anti-Japanese aggression war period (from 1937-1945) when the AFSC provided medical and relief efforts to the country.
With high prestige in their own countries, both the CPAPD and AFSC are committed to the promotion of world peace and disarmament as well as social justice and common development. The previous two China-US peace forums were held in Beijing and New York in 2008 and 2009 respectively.