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Australia-China cultural co-operation

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D59 26 June 1998


\ a^ L u^ ENMARGO 12:30PM 26 JUNE

Australia and China signed an agreement today which renews a two-year program of cultural cooperation between the two countries.

The signing of the agreement, known as the Ninth Implementing Program on Cultural Exchange, came at the conclusion of the Australia-China Joint Cultural Commission, which met in Canberra today.

The agreement was signed between the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China. The Department of Communications and the Arts, the Australia Council, the Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs, the Australia-China Council and the Australian Sports

Commission were represented on the Australian delegation to the Commission. The Chinese delegation was led by Mr Xu Wenbo, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Culture.

The Commission reaffirmed the vitality and contemporary relevance of bilateral cultural exchange at all levels between Australia and China. The Commission meeting coincided with the inaugural meeting of the Australia International Cultural Council chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Downer, which met today in Melbourne and which highlighted the importance of cultural relations in supporting bilateral political and economic relations.

Activities planned over the next two years and covered by today’s agreement include a large number of events across the cultural, artistic, educational, sporting, media publishing and related fields. More than forty Australian governmental and private bodies are involved in the activities.

Vice-Minister Xu and his delegation are visiting cultural institutions in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney, returning to China on 30 June.

For further information, contact:

Bernard Lynch, China Bilateral Section, East Asia Branch, DFAT ph: 02-6261 3462 fax: 02-6261 2919

Michele Grant, Australia-China Council Unit, East Asia Branch, DFAT ph: 02-6261 3818 fax: 02-6261 2919

Media releases and sp eech es are available from DFAT via the internet,