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Chinese gov't promises more investment in ethnic minority culture
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08:08, June 11, 2009

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The State Council, China's Cabinet, Wednesday promised to invest more in protecting and developing the culture of the country's 55 minority ethnic groups.

A general guideline to develop the cultural sector of ethnic minorities was passed at a State Council executive meeting, presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao.

According to the guideline, the government will spend more money in improving cultural infrastructure, developing publications, television and radio, sponsoring museums and art troupes as well as funding more cultural activities in regions inhabited ethnic minorities.

The government will work harder to protect the cultural heritage of ethnic minorities and sponsor innovations of their artists, the document said.

It will also encourage cultural exchanges among ethnic groups and with foreign countries and reform the administrative system on cultural sector in ethnic minority regions, it said.

West China, home to many minority ethnic groups, has reported problems of lagged culture service.

Out of 900 people in western Gansu Province, only one person was professional artist, said Ma Shaomin, a Peking Opera actress from Gansu and deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC), who had called for more attention to this issue at the NPC annual session in March 2008.

In many poor areas in west China, local governments were running short of revenue and not enough budget was left for cultural sector, Ma said.

She suggested the central government set up a special fund for cultural development in less developed and ethnic minority inhabited regions.

At this meeting, the State Council did not reveal any detailed investment plan.



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