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New step in Australia-China cultural relations.

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New Step in Australia-China Cultural Relations

“Australia-China cultural relations have taken another step forward with the signing of a new and improved Implementation Program under our bilateral Cultural Agreement,” the Australian Minister for the Arts and Sport, Senator Rod Kemp, said today in Beijing.

Minister Kemp is visiting Beijing and Shanghai from 4 to 10 July as a guest of the Minister for Culture, Mr Sun Jiazheng. He made the comments after he and Minister Sun witnessed the signing of the Implementation Program by the Australian Ambassador, Dr Alan Thomas, and the Assistant Minister and Director of the Bureau for External Relations, Mr Ding Wei, at the Ministry of Culture yesterday. A second agreement on museum cooperation was also signed at the event, between Mr Kevin Fewster, Director of Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum, and Mr Pan Zhenzhou, Director of the National Museum of China.

“The new three-year Implementation Program is a more forward-looking, strategic document,” Minister Kemp said. “In addition to encouraging cultural exchanges in a wide range of fields, the Program highlights some important new opportunities to expand on cultural exchanges.”

“Beijing’s hosting the 2008 Olympics is particularly highlighted, both with respect to Australian involvement in the annual Olympic Cultural Festivals over the next three years, and relating to exchanges of athletes and sports administrators and in the fields of sports science and medicine,” he said.

“The Program also encourages closer collaboration in film such as developing an Australia-China film co-production agreement encouraging exchanges of film festivals and encouraging film production cooperation,” Minister Kemp explained.

Minister Kemp also welcomed the signing of the framework agreement between the Powerhouse Museum and the National Museum of China on cooperation in the preparation of joint exhibitions.

“This marriage of the expertise of two fine museums is certain to result in some fascinating and exciting exhibitions,” Minister Kemp added.

In addition to meeting Minister Sun and visiting a number of cultural organisations, Minister Kemp will also meet with counterparts at the General Administration of Sport and State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, and with the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games.

Media contact: Michael Christo, Minister’s Office, 02 6277 7350 or 0407 040 276