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Youxie – The Chinese Govt. dept. that arranges friendly relationships with other countries

Youxie’ is the accepted abbreviated form for the ‘Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries’ and this term is generally used throughout our Society when referring to the same.

Youxie title + emblem side-by-side

The Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) is a national people’s organization [i.e. an NGO created by the National Government] of the People’s Republic of China and it answers to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Youxie's offices (ex-Italian Legation and then Rewi Alley's home)
Youxie’s offices (ex-Italian Legation and then Rewi Alley’s home)

Youxie was set up to enhance friendship with foreign peoples, further international co-operation in safeguarding world peace and promoting common development.  In launching its activities, it enjoys support from the Chinese Government and assistance from all sectors of society.  It has established relations of friendship and co-operation with nearly 500 non-governmental organisations and institutions in 157 countries.

To this end, Youxie organises visits to and from China, sending delegations to commemorative meetings, forums, public lectures etc., providing courses and sending Chinese citizens on foreign courses.

Youxie handout_8 (Back cover)_detailYouxie also develops friendly non-Governmental exchanges with organisations in different countries and often confers the title of Friendship Ambassador on distinguished friendly personages.

The organisation also works to safeguard world peace by supporting people of various countries in their struggles for development and social progress, sovereignty and security.  It works hard to implement China’s wish to build a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity, observing the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence

China National Youxie was established on May 3, 1954, but since 1969 has been known by its present name.  Its offices are located in Beijing, with its head office in the old Italian Legation building, in the old apartments of Rewi Alley and other ‘foreign friends of China’.

National Youxie is growing very fast and generally concentrates on two separate activities – friendly city relations (including sister cities) and friendship with foreign organisations such as NZCFS.

However, it also co-operates with other countries in the areas of trade institutions, investment, education, science, technology, environmental protection, and both urban and rural development.

Chinese art troupes travel overseas or host cultural groups or individuals from the five continents, and help to sponsor performances or exhibitions abroad.   They also concentrate in particular on youthful international exchanges.

Their orders are also to act as special consultants to the United Nations and take part in United Nations-sponsored exchanges.  As a member of  ‘United Cities and Local Governments’, Youxie, on behalf of Chinese Local Governments, participates in international co-operation at that level.

Youxie hierarchyThe National Council of Youxie convenes every five years and a president, vice presidents and secretary general are elected to the Executive Committee.  Madam Li Xiaolin was elected president in September 2011.

Youxie handles all its myriad relationships by a series of Departments, each covering a specific geographic zone.  New Zealand is covered by the Department of American and Oceanian Affairs. 

Click here for Youxie’s website (in English). 

It is worth noting that Youxie in the Provinces and major cities (including Beijing) are the International Friendship departments of the provincial or city Foreign Affairs office.  They are ruled by their own provincial or city governments and they co-operate with the CHINA national Youxie.

In Beijing there are two Youxie organisations – China National Youxie and Beijing City Youxie, and the Society hosts delegations from both.

China National Youxie would like all Chinese sister-city relationships linked to their own growing department.  However, some 10% do not get involved in National Youxie sister-city activities.

Below is a list of the main departments of China National Youxie which cover ‘foreign affairs’:


General Office – 办公厅

Department of Asian and African Affairs – 亚非工作部

Department of Japanese Affairs – 日本工作部

Department of European and Asian Affairs – 欧亚工作部

Department of American and Oceanian Affairs – 美大工作部

Cultural Exchange Department – 对外文化交流部

China International Friendship Cities Association (CIFCA) – 中国国际友好城市联合会

Commission for Economic Cooperation of CIFCA – 经济合作委员会

China Friendship Foundation for Peace and Development – 中国友好和平发展基金会

China Service Centre for Friendship and Co-operation with Foreign Countries – 中国对外友好合作服务中心

China Friendship Art Exchange Association – 中国友好艺术交流院

Relations between Youxie and the Society – past, present and future:

China National Youxie, as well as provincial, regional and city Youxie throughout China, form the main points of contact in many regions to assist with connections in China for NZCFS and NZCFS personnel.

In Beijing there are two Youxie organisations – China National Youxie and Beijing City Youxie, and we have two way exchanges with both.

For many years, China National Youxie was the in-China partner for NZCFS tours in China.

Youxie sends its personnel to NZ on short-term travel around the branches and longer term placements in NZ.  NZCFS has had great pleasure in helping Youxie personnel during their stay in New Zealand, and many members have benefited from getting to know them.

1)  Main aspects of  Youxie/NZCFS Relations:

Prominent Persons and NZCFS Leaders Delegation:

Each year, NZCFS is invited by National Youxie to send a delegation of Prominent People and NZCFS Leaders to China. [Note: these delegates comprise both people from the community, such as teachers, local politicians and media people, as well as Society representatives].

The purpose of the delegation’s visit is to build relationships and friendships between our two peoples, to visit some unique parts of China, and to give the delegates a positive perspective of modern China.  On alternate years, the delegation attends a Friendship Forum which is an opportunity to meet like delegations from many countries.

For the 1-page document provided to delegates, for briefing on National Youxie, click HERE

RAFE Fund:

National Youxie is the Chinese governmental organisation for liaison on matters such as the RAFE Fund, and activities relating to some of the projects funded by the RAFE Fund. Indeed, National Youxie is gratefully acknowledged as being the moving force behind the funding for the RAFE Fund.

For the speech of then-NZCFS Vice President David Bromwich at the Signing Ceremony for the RAFE Fund ( September 21 2012), click HERE


National Youxie representatives regularly attend NZCFS’ AGM.

Note that National Youxie also provides interpreters for Chinese Local Government delegations to NZ.  In our turn, NZCFS people provide a welcome in New Zealand for such delegations.

2) Youxie and Rewi Alley

After returning to Beijing in 1953, Rewi Alley resided in what was previously the Italian legation, and is now the National Youxie compound in central Beijing. Youxie maintains an extensive archive of Rewi Alley’s books, photographs and artifacts that Rewi had collected. In addition, Shanghai Youxie maintains an archive of Rewi Alley’s Shanghai memorabilia.

Shandan Bailie School: National Youxie vice-president Li Jianping is an honorary principal of the school. This reflects the lively interest that National Youxie takes in maintaining Rewi Alley’s heritage.

Gung Ho NGOs in China need to be associated with a government department, and National Youxie provides this link for Gung Ho [ICICC]

3) Links to recent Society events which have involved Youxie (National and others):

2011, Sep 6-8, Beijing, Speech by Dave Bromwich, then Vice President at Beijing Forum (Beijing Youxie)

2012, June 5, Wellington, NZCFS luncheon with Youxie

2012, Sep, China. Commemoration events of NZCFS 60th Birthday tour

2013, Apr.  ‘Explore China – South East’ tour

2013, May.  Media tour to China (both Beijing and Shanghai Youxie provided great assistance with this tour).

2013, Jul. Visit to New Zealand of Huo Yan, the first Michael King Writers Centre selection (assisted by Shanghai Youxie)

2013, Sep 21-30, China.  NZCFS Prominent Persons and Leaders Delegation

2013, Sep, Christchurch. Don’t miss Rewi Alley’ Exhibition (assisted by Shanghai Youxie)

2013, Sep, Shanghai. NZCFS Delegation – Setting up Musical Links (organised by Shanghai Youxie)

2014, Feb, Shanghai, Establishment of a Shanghai-New Zealand Writers Exchange (assisted by Shanghai Youxie)

2014, Feb, Shanghai, Visit to Shanghai Archives (assisted by Shanghai Youxie)

Acknowledgement of all help given by Youxie to the Society

Over the years, China National Youxie has been a key partner for NZCFS in our engagement with China in the broad range of activities that has been described above (with recent examples hyperlinked).

Due to our excellent relationship with Youxie, NZCFS is very fortunate in enjoying special privileges not generally offered to other Friendship Organisations around the world, and this has been received with much gratitude. The relationship continues to be strong, with ongoing and open dialogue that is exploring new forms of engagement to meet objectives of both parties for a bright future.