Minister of Culture to sign the Hangzhou Declaration along with 16 Central and Eastern European Countries and the Ministers of China

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2017 09 22

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Minister of Culture Liana Ruokytė-Jonsson continues her visit to the People's Republic of China. Today, September 22, the Minister takes part in the 3rd Forum on Cultural Cooperation of the Central and Eastern European Countries and China ‘Let's connect our hearts and share culture’ in Hangzhou. Hangzhou Declaration was signed at the forum by which the cooperation plan of the countries for 2018-2019 was approved.

During the forum, 16 Central and Eastern European Countries and the Ministers of Culture of China discussed the results and challenges of two-year cultural cooperation. Minister Liana Ruokytė-Jonsson delivered a report highlighting the exceptional achievements of Lithuania's participation in the 16 + 1 format. ‘We are very proud that we have succeeded in presenting Lithuanian culture and art in China in various contexts, especially this successfully and comprehensively, in field of visual and performing arts’, said Liana Ruokytė-Jonsson.

Hangzhou Declaration was signed at the end of the forum, which approved the action plan for cooperation of the countries in 2018-2019.

The plan provides for strengthening of direct exchanges between art organizations, associations, creative young people, organizing of the forums for culture and creative industries, heritage, library experts, creative camps for artists, as well as to create conditions for presentation of Chinese culture and art in Europe.

In order to improve the exchange of cultural information between 16+1 countries, and coordinate the activities of the various arts associations more effectively, the Hangzhou Forum has approved the establishment of the 16+1 Cultural Cooperation Coordination Center in Macedonia and has signed a Memorandum of Understanding. It is expected that the center will start its activities early next year.

Minister of Culture Liana Ruokytė-Jonsson has attended a bilateral meeting with the Chinese Minister of Culture Luo Shugang. During the meeting, possible solutions aiming at facilitating creative trips of Lithuanian and Chinese artists by providing them with cultural visas have been discussed.

Minister of Culture L. Ruokytė-Jonsson, along with the Ministers of Culture of China, Macedonia and Hungary, has attended a press conference, in which the minister has emphasized that this cooperation is beneficial to all the parties. She pointed out that Lithuania and the Baltic States, the members of the European Union, are among the fastest developing economies in the region, open to all ideas and cooperation. ‘We appreciate that the 1 plus 16 forum focuses primarily on the relationships of people. It is particularly important that type of cooperation makes it possible to initiate a number of direct exchange, the cooperation between the CEEC countries is no less important. We need to intensify the dialogue, without forgetting that the main goal of this cooperation are people’, said the minister. She invited Chinese cultural organizations to contribute to the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Lithuania in China

September 23, the Minister of Culture is planning to participate in the ceremony of signing of the Agreement on the Establishment of the Union of Central and Eastern European Countries and the Chinese Academy of Music, in which Lithuania will be represented and the agreement will be signed by the rector of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater prof. Zbignev Ibelgauptas.

The next forum of the 16 Central and Eastern European Countries and the Ministers of Culture of China will take place in 2019, Macedonia.