China culture forum heads to France

By Chen Nan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-03-27 09:20:31

The World Cultural Forum (Taihu, China), on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and France, will go to Paris on March 31 and April 1 for its sessions this year.

According to co-founder Yan Zhaozhu, who is also the chairman of the forum, the event will take "The Silk Road - an Eternal Path for Cultural Exchange between the East and West" as the theme, discussing topics such as spiritual and material exchanges, particularly those between China and France since the 16th century.

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With support from the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, Gansu's provincial government and the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs, some 200 people - including scholars and experts on the Silk Road from China and France - will participate in the forum, sharing their research and knowledge as well as seeking future cooperation between the two countries.

Yan points out that the Silk Road has been studied worldwide and this year's forum will offer an opportunity for experts from China and France to meet.

"The Silk Road spread across the Eurasian continent and served as an important traffic link in the history of Chinese and Western trade. It has made a great contribution to the communication between Eastern and Western civilizations. We hope to carry forward traditional Chinese culture overseas, building bridges between the East and West," Yan says.

"France was the first major Western power to forge relations with Beijing at the ambassadorial level. Our relations continue to evolve amid trials in the 21st century. That's why we chose Paris as the location this year."

The forum, initiated by China in 2008, is a high-level non-governmental cultural gathering. To achieve the goal of promoting exchanges and strengthening cooperation, Yan - who was formerly chief of the Cultural Affairs Bureau's Policy Research Center of the Communist Party of China's Central Committee - says that the forum is intended to integrate overseas talent and institutional and other resources, through a wide variety of quality cultural activities and exchanges.

After three years of preparation, the first conference of the World Cultural Forum (Taihu, China) was held in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, in 2011 and attended by more than 500 scholars, officials and celebrities, including master calligrapher and painter Fan Zeng, Nobel laureate Robert Mundell and Andre Azoulay, senior adviser to King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

Last year the second World Cultural Forum (Taihu, China) opened in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. Its theme was: "strengthen international cooperation for ecological civilization". Guest speakers at the event included top Chinese political adviser Yu Zhengsheng and Mozambican President Armando Guebuza.

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