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Tuesday, September 25, 2001, updated at 23:41(GMT+8)

Chinese Artists Focus on Ethnic Relations

Relationship between China's 56 nationalities has become a priority topic for Chinese artists.

The just-concluded Second National Joint Art Show by Ethnic Minority Groups, some 21 years after the first endeavor, spotlights many historical figures who played crucial roles in promoting ethnic communication and exchanges.

The utmost fortitude of people such as Zhang Qian, pathbreaker of the famous "Silk Road", which connected the east with the west some 2,139 years ago, Princess Wencheng of the Han Dynasty, and Cai Wenji, famous for her extraordinary literary talent and marriage to a Hun khan, contributed to the formation and progress of a unified Chinese culture.

Jia Maosheng, president of the provincial modern drama troupe of Shanxi Province, said that many people from different ethnic minority groups have striven to maintain the unity of China, and avoided bloody wars that would drag humanity into disaster.

The topic of the relationship between various ethnic groups is of great importance to the current world situation, said Jia.

Qu Liuyi, a leading expert on ethnic minority arts, said that the development of Chinese culture is attributable to the harmonious coexistence of various Chinese nationalities.

Experts said that China's continuous efforts for the protection and development of ethnic minority cultures is crucial to the country's successful handling of ethnic relations.

Ethnic minority groups were considered backward barbarians for centuries in Chinese history. Seldom have their cultures been studied by outsiders.

Since the foundation of the People's Republic of China in 1949, especially in the last 20 years, the Chinese government has made strenuous efforts to develop ethnic minority cultures.

Organizers of the Joint Art Show said that the 56 Chinese nationalities came to the country's capital to display their colorful cultures and art forms at the national gala as well as to demonstrate the changes in their lives since China's adoption of the opening-up policy some 20 years ago.

Liu Housheng, a renowned drama critic, said that the progress of singing and dancing, and drama of Chinese ethnic groups has greatly influenced the development of world ethnic art forms.

Liu said, "China's ethnic minority arts cover not only artistic pieces produced by minority groups but also works related to ethnic minority groups."

The wide coverage of China's ethnic minority arts greatly helps the exchanges and communication among various nationalities' arts.

"People will learn more about the history and real life of China's ethnic minority groups through the efforts of Chinese artists of various ethnic groups," Liu said.

Sun Demin, a playwright of the Mongolian ethnic group, said that China's ethnic arts are now in an unprecedentedly booming period in history.

Statistics show that China now has 24 art training institutes open exclusively to ethnic minorities as well as 59 ethnic dancing and singing troupes, and 526 performing troupes in ethnic autonomous regions.

Virginia Lo Liu Yiu-chee, executive director of the Hong Kong Dance Federation Ltd., said that she is proud of being a Chinese when she witnesses the unique prosperity of the motherland's ethnic minority art forms.

The fast-developing Chinese ethnic minority art forms are now storming the world with their special ethnic flavors, such as the mysterious Tibetan drama and breathtaking Uygur ethnic dance.

"The world will be fascinated by the charm of Chinese culture and the harmony among China's 56 nationalities at the same time," said Qu Liuyi.

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Relationship between China's 56 nationalities has become a priority topic for Chinese artists.

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