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Interview: Cultural exchange cements foundation for healthy Sino-Italian ties: ambassador

(Xinhua)

13:19, March 12, 2012

ROME, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Italy's 15-month Chinese Culture Year was a good way to increase Italians' knowledge and understanding of China, Ding Wei, the Chinese ambassador to Italy, has said.

The Chinese Culture Year, which ran from Oct. 7, 2010 to Jan. 14, was a very important cultural exchange event in the time since the two countries established ties more than 40 years ago, Ding said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

The event has a profound impact on the Italian people and laid a solid foundation for the healthy development of bilateral ties, the ambassador said.

The event, which featured about 200 cultural activities sponsored, stirred Chinese culture fever in Italy, Ding said.

"You can tell that the Italian people are very interested in Chinese culture and it's an effective and viable way to introduce China to them through cultural activities," Ding said.

In addition, the impact of the Chinese Culture Year has extended beyond to economy, trade, science, technology and environment protection fields, Ding said.

He said that more than 20 Italian municipalities and provinces from 12 regions participated in the event, which attracted more than one million visitors.

Ding said a grand parade and art performance on Jan. 14, which was sponsored by Chinese students studying in Italy, among others, lasted nearly four hours and put a perfect end to the culture year.

The ambassador also said both China and Italy are ancient civilizen countries with long histories. Cultural exchanges between Beijing and Rome have deepened over the past 40 years. In 2006, China successfully hosted the Italian Culture Year.

Ding said Sino-Italian ties have not been affected by the European financial and debt crisis.

The success of the Chinese Culture Year has promoted understanding and friendship between the people of China and Italy, Ding said.

He said the event also set a solid foundation for further development of the Sino-Italian strategic partnership relationship.

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