Chinese President Xi Jinping said Sunday that the China-U.S. Tourism Year has helped expand people-to-people exchanges and given fresh impetus to bilateral relations.
"Thanks to joint efforts, the Tourism Year has been marked with colorful and fruitful events, which have helped expand our people-to-people exchanges and practical cooperation in various areas, and injected new impetus to China-U.S. relations," Xi said in a written message to the closing ceremony of the China-U.S. Tourism Year 2016 held in Washington on Sunday.
He urged the two sides to build on the success of the Tourism Year to sustain the momentum of people-to-people and cultural exchanges, enhance mutual understanding and friendship, and reinforce the social foundation for the development of China-U.S. relations.
"The growth of China-U.S. relations requires the participation and support of our peoples," he said.
The China-U.S. Tourism Year was an outcome of Xi's state visit to the United States in September 2015. Xi said he and U.S. President Barack Obama made the decision with a view to promoting the building of a new model of major-country relationship, and carrying forward practical cooperation and enhancing friendship between the two countries.