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Culture development smart strategy for China, say Danish experts

(Xinhua)

12:44, October 25, 2012

Culture development is a smart strategy for China that shows not only its economic strength but also its cultural characteristics, a Danish expert said Monday.

"It is a smart strategy to use culture to build a country with soft power," Carsten Boyer Thoegersen, a fellow researcher of Nordic Institute of Asian Studies at the University of Copenhagen, told Xinhua in a recent interview ahead of the upcoming 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

"It is also a natural extension of China's growing economic and geopolitical role. China has the opportunity to show other countries not only its economic strength, but also its cultural characteristics," said the expert, who was also the former consul-general of Denmark in Shanghai.

China has seen a huge economic development over the past 10 years, he said, noting that when the 16th CPC National Congress was convened in 2002, no one would have imagined that the country would become the world's second largest economy in just eight years.

"Together with economic development, the Chinese culture has experienced a rapid development," he said.

China's international cooperation in trade, culture and international organizations has increased since the country promoted the development of cultural industries in its 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-2010) in order to spread its influence across the world, Thoegersen said.

"China hosted the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2010 Shanghai Expo, which attracted attentions all over the world," he said.

He also noted that China had established more than 300 Confucius Institutes worldwide to teach Chinese language and culture.

He took as an example the growing number of China's international media outlets, such as the English channel of China Central Television and the English-language newspaper China Daily.

"In the next five to 10 years, much more people around the world will analyze China and see how China behaves," Thoegersen said. "When the political and economic power of a country increases, so does its responsibility for world affairs."

Verner Worm, professor of Chinese Business and Development at the Copenhagen Business School (CBS), said: "In the last few years, China has focused on culture development to build the Chinese cultural value system and increase its influence in the world."

China has achieved remarkable results in culture development by establishing Confucius Institutes and Classrooms all over the world, said Worm, also the director of Copenhagen Business Confucius Institute at CBS.

Worm believed that "these Confucius Institutes and Classrooms have helped the culture exchanges between China and Denmark, strengthened bilateral cooperation in various areas and furthermore greatly promoted the globalization of Chinese culture."

"I think China will continue boosting its culture development and soft power, following the ongoing economic boom, in the next five years," he said.

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