Sino-U.S.cultural exchanges hit new heights in 2010

08:19, January 12, 2011      

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Cultural exchanges between China and the United States have achieved robust momentum in 2010 thanks to the joint efforts of the two governments and individuals.

Officials, scholars, performing artists and ordinary people on both sides of the Pacific Ocean welcomed the tremendous achievements and hoped the bilateral interaction will continue.

THE SECOND SINO-U.S. CULTURAL FORUM PROMOTED CULTURAL COOPERATION

Both Chinese and U.S. leaders attach great importance to deeper cultural exchanges. Chinese President Hu Jintao and his American counterpart Barack Obama, in a joint statement issued after their Beijing talks in November 2009, emphasized the importance of promoting bilateral relations by way of cultural exchanges.

They also called for a new bilateral mechanism, which has set the stage for the 2nd Sino-U.S. Cultural Forum to further promote high-level cooperation in the area.

As one of the most important events of the year, the forum was held at the University of California, Berkeley, on Oct. 15-16. About 50 experts, scholars and artists from both countries engaged in comprehensive and deep discussions on topics, including the history of Sino-U.S. cultural relations and the future perspective of their cultural relations.

"The cultural exchanges between China and the U.S. have ushered in an ever-developing era," China's Vice Cultural Minister Wang Wenzhang said in his opening remarks at the ceremony.

"China, which is undergoing a period characterized by deeper economic reform and development, has been learning from good cultures from other countries in the world with an open mind. The Chinese people have been able to gain access to a great number of cultural products, including those from the U.S."

"Interaction among different cultures is bound to make all sides more creative," he said.

Stage performances were given by scores of Chinese popular singers, dancers and other performing artists from Feb. 27 to March 10 in seven major cities, including New York, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The event, which featured traditional Chinese folk songs and dances, was well-received by American audiences, serving as a window on Chinese culture.

U.S. PAVILION IN SHANGHAI EXPO PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE

The 6,000-square-meter U.S. Pavilion, one of the biggest at Shanghai Expo, received more than 7.2 million Chinese visitors during the six-month event. Visitors marveled at the four exhibition areas and experienced optimism, creativity and cooperation, the shared spirit promoted and supported by China and the United States.

In addition to hosting 150 cultural and entertaining events, the U.S. pavilion staff also reached out to universities and communities in Shanghai and beyond to share experiences beyond the Expo park.

The facility played a tremendous role in promoting cultural exchanges between the two countries, pavilion president and CEO Martin Alintuck said. The pavilion showcased American culture, values and innovative spirit, not to mention its partnership and cooperation with China and the rest of the world, he said.

"By reaching those 7 million guests in a brief six-month period, we will have touched more Chinese citizens than our U.S. embassy and all of the U.S. consulates in China combined will over the next 10 years," Alintuck said.

LOCAL LEVEL CULTURAL EXCHANGES ON THE RISE

Aside from events held at the national level, cultural exchange programs were also carried out by provinces and provincial capitals in China.

Under the auspices of the Chinese Overseas Exchange Association and Sichuan Provincial government, a series of stage performances, picture shows featuring the May 2008 Wenchuan earthquake and business promotion and seminars were held from Oct. 28 at the United Nations headquarters in New York, as well as in New Jersey, Los Angeles and San Francisco. American audiences were greatly impressed by exotic and multi-ethnic songs, dances and operas.

In addition, seven-episode documentary showcasing natural, historical and cultural environs of Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu Province in northwest China, was aired by an American television network. And an exhibition featuring excavated ancient articles from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, including silk, gold, murals and mummies, wowed visitors.

More than 100 Chinese filmmakers gathered in Hollywood, California, late October, to exchange their experiences and expertise with their American counterparts at the sixth Sino-U.S. Film Festival.

Stanley Rosen, director of University of Southern California College East Asian Studies Center, is positive about the cultural exchanges.

"It's helpful for Sino-American understanding to have these Chinese performers come to the U.S., and perhaps over time they will be increasingly successful," he said.

Source: Xinhua
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