Paris, 18 September – Cooperation between UNESCO and the People’s Republic of China dominated talks today between Vice Prime Minister Ms Liu Yandong, and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, when they met at UNESCO’s Paris Headquarters.
The Director-General and Ms Liu discussed UNESCO’s long-standing relationship with China. The Vice Prime Minister then toured an exhibition devoted to the “Silk Roads and Creative Cities” before formally opening it in UNESCO’s Segur Hall.
The Silk Roads “tell a millennial story of exchange and mutual enrichment,” the Director-General said. “They gave birth to vibrant hubs, great cities of trade, exchange and creativity.” This “unique “soft power’ network” serves to deepen dialogue and innovation across the world,” she added.
The Vice Prime Minister expressed her delight at the exhibition and paid tribute to UNESCO as having “made an invaluable contribution to the rapprochement between cultures and mutual understanding between peoples.”
Irina Bokova and Liu Yandong both underscored the role of cultural diversity and cultural cooperation to foster sustainable development and peace.
The World Heritage Committee in June 2014 added two Chinese sites, linked to the Silk Roads, to the World Heritage List. They are the transboundary Chang’an-Tian-shan Silk Road Corridor, a major artery of the historic Silk Roads, crossing China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, and the Grand Canal, running from Beijing in the north to Hangzhou and the Zhejiang province in the south.
China also counts five cities on UNESCO’s Creative City network, including Beijing, Shenzhen and Shanghai as Cities of Design, Chengdu as a City of Gastronomy and Hangzhou as a City of Crafts and Folk Arts. China is a founding member of UNESCO, having joined the Organization in 1946.