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Opinions & Interviews

27 Sep 2016

Svetlov: Grodno can become Belarus' Cultural Gate in the Silk Road project

Svetlov: Grodno can become Belarus' Cultural Gate in the Silk Road project

MINSK, 27 September (BelTA) – Grodno could bid for the status of the Belarusian Culture Gate in the Silk Road project, Belarus’ Culture Minister Boris Svetlov said during the Silk Road International Cultural Expo in Dunhuang, China, BelTA learnt from the Culture Ministry.

“We are contemporaries and participants of a new stage in the revival of the Great Silk Road and its cultural component. The process of reviving is systemic, conscious and controllable, with the implementation of the concept which Xi Jinping voiced when speaking about “the need to build a bridge of joint prosperity of cultures that will unite the Chinese and European civilization,” Boris Svetlov noted. In this respect the minister suggested every member state of the Silk Road to choose a city to be the symbolic cultural gate. Grodno could be such a city in Belarus.

According to Boris Svetlov, Belarus highly appreciates China’s initiatives aimed at developing cultural traditions of various countries and the expansion of cultural cooperation between foreign partners. Belarus, lying in the center of Europe, making part of the Great Silk Road and being marked from north to south by the famous route From the Varangians to the Greeks, also makes its contribution to the cultural rapprochement of the Eurasian countries and peoples based on their historical, cultural and civilizational community.

During the meeting of the Belarusian delegation with China’s Culture Minister Luo Shugang the parties reached an agreement to hold the Days of Belarusian Culture in China in 2017. Moreover, a Chinese delegation is expected to pay a visit to Belarus on 7-10 October to get familiar with the country’s theater art. The Culture Ministries of the two countries will take an active part in the events to mark the 25th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Belarus and China.

Belarus and China have been steadily developing their cultural cooperation. The two ministries signed an agreement on cultural cooperation for 2012-2016. The governments have an agreement on setting up the Belarusian-Chinese intergovernmental committee on cooperation. The major goal of the committee is to expand, strengthen and intensify the cooperation between the two countries, including in the cultural sector. There are three Confucius Institutes in Belarus. The cultural centers of Belarus and China will open in Beijing and Minsk in 2017. Bilateral cooperation in art education is vibrant. About 25% of Chinese students, receiving education in Belarus, study in three institutions of higher education: the University of Culture, the Academy of Music and the Academy of Arts. The Chinese language is gaining increased popularity in Belarus. A number of secondary schools teach Chinese as the first foreign language.

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