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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 08:44, May 10, 2004
Cultural exchanges promote Sino-African co-operation
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African art festival has been launched on April 30 to May 23 in China. Artist organizations from nine African countries: Egypt, Ethiopia, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Republic of Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania presented wonderful performances which spoil a great number of Chinese audience. Meanwhile, artwork exhibition with the theme of "African Art Flavor", painting exhibition "African Memory" and photography exhibition "African Flash Snap" will also be unveiled since May 14 at China Art Museum in Beijing.

Plus, according to the plans of bilateral cultural exchanges, governmental cultural delegations from Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Republic of Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria and Tanzania will also participate in the gala as invited, as well as that in South China's Hunan Province. The gala, an unprecedented grand artist gathering and for friendship as well, and cultural exchanges between China and African countries, is a precious opportunity for Chinese to understand and appreciate Africa.

Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai had a vivid metaphor of diplomacy, economy and culture as an airplane with diplomacy as the body, economy and culture as the two wings, which defines the irreplaceable role of cultural exchange and co-operation in the overall diplomatic activities of a country.

The Chinese Government has always been attaching much importance to the cultural ties with African countries. Cultural exchange and co-operation were on a par with Sino-African political and economic and trade relations, a great contributor to furthering constantly the mutual understanding, unity and co-operation and establishing Sino-African comprehensive partnership in the 21st century.

Official Sino-African cultural exchange started in 1955 as China and Egypt signed in Beijing "Minutes of Meeting on Governmental Cultural Co-operation between People's Republic of China and Arab Republic of Egypt" in May. To date, China has signed with 46 African countries bilateral governmental agreement on culture and did a great deal according to the agreements and detailed plans over the years.

Rough statistics, the over 200 cultural delegations mutually sent by Chinese Government and governments of African countries have played a key role in pushing forward Sino-African cultural ties with the government taking the lead. China and African countries held in each other's homeland over 100 various exhibitions introducing to each other cultural heritages and modern arts. China's carving, painting, artwork have been exhibited in many African countries and vice versa. Culture day (week and month) has also been celebrated as well as movie week and book expo to present the essence of the nations, which have greatly promoted the communication and mutual understanding.

The first Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Ministerial Meeting was held in Beijing in October 2000, which marked the formation of Sino-African cooperation mechanism and invigorated again comprehensive cooperation. Over the past three years, a peak of cultural delegations, China sent 41 delegations and meanwhile received 52 of the same kind. According to "Addis Ababa Action Plan (2004-2006)" promulgated on the second ministerial meeting of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Chinese Ministry of Culture will "Safari on Chinese Culture" on the second half of this year, during which three artist delegations will visit 12 African countries with exhibitions as well as "China Art Festival" held there.

The Sino-African political amity and pleasing economic and trade ties owe to the sustained efforts of China and African countries in building cultural cooperation.

By People's Daily Online

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