World / Europe

China, Eastern Europe start year of cultural and people-to-people exchanges

By Wang Qingyun ( Updated: 2016-02-26 22:56

China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries(CEEC) have started a year of cultural and people to people exchanges, Liu Haixing, China's assistant minister of foreign affairs told a Beijing news conference on Friday.

According to the draft schedule, the events planned include a China-CEEC art cooperation forum in China in May, a China-CEEC cultural industry forum in Serbia in June, and a China-CEEC summer chorus camp in China in July.

Chinese government departments, including the Ministry of Culture, the General Administration of Sport and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will help organize the events.

Liu said he hoped that the various events will strengthen the friendship between people in China and the CEEC, boost cooperation between the CEEC and China, called "16+1 cooperation", and advance the China-Europe relationship.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, when addressing the Fourth Summit of China and CEEC in November 2015, suggested the year 2016 be marked as the year of people-to-people and cultural exchanges between the two sides.

Eduards Stiprais, under-secretary of state of the Foreign Ministry of Latvia, which will host the Fifth Summit of China and CEEC, called for strengthened exchange and cooperation between the 16+1 partners when he addressed the news conference.

"Although connectivity lies at the heart of linking the countries of Europe and Asia by developing transport and logistics infrastructure, establishing trade routes and facilitating trade, no project can really succeed without people first learning about each other, getting to know each other, and ultimately establishing partnerships and friendships," he said.

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