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China mulls to set up special fund to boost arts


08:43, November 07, 2011

FUZHOU, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- China is considering to set up a special fund to finance arts creation and cultural performances in the latest move to buoy the development of the country's "soft power," a cultural official said Sunday.

The fund, which is likely to be set up in 2012, will pool an initial capital of 200 million yuan (31.54 million U.S. dollars) from the government and private investors to support various forms of arts ranging from opera, philharmonic, ballet, to Chinese folk opera, said Tao Cheng, vice head of the arts department under the Ministry of Culture.

Tao told Xinhua on the sidelines of an opera festival held in eastern city of Fuzhou that the fund will gradually expand to 800 million yuan in size over the years. He said the ministry has drawn up the draft and it will be deliberated and finalized.

China's top leadership has recently attached greater importance to improving the country's cultural soft power after decades of economic growth. In the sixth plenary session of the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China last month, the nation's decision-makers focused on cultural issues. It was the first time in 15 years that the plenary sessions have put the spotlight on culture.

The Ministry of Finance had said it would increase fiscal expenditure on museums, cinemas, music companies, publishing houses and other cultural institutions, and ensure that public spending on the sector grows faster than fiscal income growth. Support policies will be targeted, with a focus on improving the cultural institutions' market competitiveness, it said.

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