Senior Chinese official, Clinton promote early childhood development

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-11-21 9:09:14

Visiting Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong on Wednesday told an audience in Washington that the Chinese government places high importance on the development of children, sparing no effort to improve conditions for children and teenagers.

Liu made the remarks at the China-US Dialogue on Early Childhood Development Strategy at Brookings Institution, a Washington thinktank.

She said that China has pursued the policy of "putting children first" in recent years, adopting and implementing programs for the development of women and children to be completed by 2020.

She said notable progress has been made in several aspects, including improvement in children's health, more equitable education opportunities for children, stronger legal protection for children and better environment for children's growth. The just concluded Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China also introduced a host of policies that will create a better environment for the development of children.

"Investment in early childhood development is a human capital investment with the highest return," said Liu, through an interpreter. "The earlier and more such investment is made, the better."

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who also attended the forum, noted the importance of early childhood development, saying such work may not be in the headlines, but is certainly "in the trendlines."

Clinton complimented the strides China is making on children's development, saying that "it is no surprise to hear that China, focused on sustaining growth and lifting people out of poverty, is investing even more in early childhood development." She predicted such commitment will be seen in future as one of the most important commitments China is making.

Liu is visiting the United States to co-chair the fourth China- US High-level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington on Thursday.

China and the United States launched the consultation in 2010. Under the mechanism, the two countries have achieved remarkable results in areas of education, science and technology, culture, sports, women's issues and young people.

Posted in: Diplomacy

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