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Friendship Along the Route
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  • Neil Schmid, a U.S. scholar from the Center for the Study of Religion and Culture in Asia at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, visits Dunhuang Academy in northwest China's Gansu Province on April 13, 2017
  • Igors Tipans (left), Vice President of Riga Technical University in Latvia, visits Xi'an Jiaotong University on March 28, 2017
  • Zhuo Qiang (right), founder of a non-governmental organization for wildlife protection in Africa, with a local patrol at the Masai Mara Prairie Okensee Reserve in Kenya on July 7
  • The opening ceremony of a Belt and Road music festival in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, on March 23. Musicians and artists from more than 40 countries and regions presented 18 performances throughout the month
  • Visitors admire traditional Chinese paintings at the opening of the Peace and Development Leadership Network Belt and Road Cultural and Economic Forum in Vienna, Austria, on June 22, 2017
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People-to-people bonds are one of the cooperation priorities of the Belt and Road Initiative, providing the human foundation for the framework.

In the five years since the initiative was proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013, cultural exchanges, educational cooperation, tourism, technology sharing and medical assistance have built stronger friendships among the peoples in Belt and Road countries.

In addition, enhancing people-to-people connectivity can boost the development of a country's economy and its society while also promoting mutual understanding.

International student exchanges have been one of the contributors to building Belt and Road friendships. Cultural events, such as film and art festivals, have provided a great opportunity for people to get to know the history and traditions of each other's countries.

Tourism has been another essential part of these human interactions, as visa applications have been simplified for travel convenience.

Moreover, sharing advanced technology in various fields, such as agriculture, has shown the strong willingness among Belt and Road countries for common prosperity.

(Photos by Xinhua News Agency)

Copyedited by Rebeca Toledo

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