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18 Dec 2015

Belarusian culture center in China to be set up at embassy

MINSK, 18 December (BelTA) – The Belarusian culture center in China will be set up on the premises of the Belarusian Embassy in Beijing, Belarusian First Deputy Culture Minister Irina Driga said during the session of the Council of the Republic on 18 December, BelTA has learned.

“We have agreed with the Chinese side that the Belarusian culture center will be set up on the premises of the Belarusian Embassy in China. We have no plans to erect a separate building,” Irina Driga noted. Meanwhile, the Chinese side has opted in favor of a separate building. “We are providing them with assistance in their search for an appropriate plot of land or building,” Irina Driga added.

Such centers are designed to organize cultural events, such as exhibitions, performances, concerts and film screenings, and promote the languages and cultures of the two countries through educational events, establishment of libraries, and reading rooms.

On 18 December, the Council of the Republic adopted a bill on ratification of the Belarus-China agreement on mutual establishment of culture centers. The agreement was signed in Minsk on 10 May. The cultural centers will be exempt from taxes and customs duties, except for import customs duties. However, they will not be allowed to conduct any commercial activities.

The document stipulates that the employees assigned by one country’s government to work at a cultural center in the other country shall be citizens of the former holding service passports. The rest of employees may be citizens of either Belarus or China.

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