China and ASEAN countries strengthen cultural cooperation
Xinhua reports that China and the 10 ASEAN member countries will see closer cultural cooperation, as the two sides made a decision to schedule regular cultural ministerial meetings.
The consensus to hold regular ministerial meetings was reached at the 12th Asia Arts Festival in southwest China's Chongqing municipality based on China's proposal at the China and ASEAN (10+1) Cultural Ministerial Meeting on Oct. 10.
The future China and ASEAN (10+1) cultural ministerial meetings, in comparison with the existing cultural ministerial meeting of ASEAN and China, Japan and South Korea (10+3), will allow exchanges between China and ASEAN member countries to be more targeted and direct, said Arief Maulana, culture officer of the ASEAN Secretariat.
The previous cultural exchanges between China and the Association of Southwest Asian Nations (ASEAN) were conducted within the 10+3 framework, which had several limitations. "Previous cooperation relied on individual projects, rather than a stable mechanism," Maulana said. "ASEAN countries want to learn about China's best practices in cultural heritage protection, cultural industry development and cultural policy-making. The establishment of the 10+1 mechanism will not only promote cultural protection, but also help spread our culture to regions outside Asia,"
The 10+1 cultural ministerial meeting on Oct. 10 was part of a 10-day arts festival marking the 20th anniversary of the establishment of dialogues between China and the ASEAN. The festival, hosted by China's Ministry of Culture, included a range of events, such as the Asian Culture Forum, during which the Chongqing Declaration was reached.
The Chongqing Declaration, issued at the closing ceremony of the Asian Culture Forum, states that cultural and art institutions from Asian countries should carry out further dialogues and cooperation and effectively make use of different cultural resources to promote the development of Asian culture and arts.
"The launch of the Asian Culture Forum has expanded cultural communication forms among Asian countries from communication between artists to large-scale exchanges between research institutions and organizations," said Wang Chen, an official with the Bureau for External Cultural Relations under China's Culture Ministry. He proposed that China and ASEAN further collaborate in cultural heritage preservation, the construction of a cultural resource database and personnel training.
For ASEAN countries, the establishment of the 10+1 mechanism means that cultural exchanges will be a "two-way street," said Felipe de Leon, chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts of the Philippines. Indonesia hopes to enhance cultural exchanges with China and protect Asian cultural diversities against threats posed by globalization, said Agus Sartono, Indonesia's deputy coordinating minister for people's welfare.
The first official meeting of China and ASEAN (10+1) cultural ministers will be held in Singapore in 2012.
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Further Xinhua news on the event
See also C360 event notice Chongqing 12th Asia Arts Festival
Image: Chongqing, China
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