ABU DHABI, July 20 (Xinhua) -- China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) pledged Friday to strengthen their people-to-people exchanges as they agreed to lift bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
In a declaration on upgrading their ties issued during Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit, the two countries agreed to set up cultural centers in each other, launch joint cultural projects, and participate in each other's cultural activities.
They also agreed to expand dialogues on soft power and cultural policies, enhance cooperation in such fields as heritage preservation, modern arts and urban environment, and promote exchanges between their think tanks.
According to the document, China and the UAE will also step up regular dialogues on tourism cooperation and long-term cooperation between their major cultural organizations.
People-to-people exchanges have seen rapid progress over the past few years. In 2017, the number of Chinese tourists visiting the UAE topped a million.