Sino-Egyptian Culture Year launched

The Chinese Ministry of Culture and Egyptian Embassy in China jointly staged a press conference to launch the 2016 Sino-Egyptian Culture Year at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing on Monday.

Representatives from both governments, overseas students from Egypt in China, and media from both China and abroad attended.

The initiative to hold a culture year in 2016 can be traced back to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's visit to China in December 2014. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the official establishment of diplomatic relations between the countries.

China's Minister of Culture Luo Shugang paid a visit to Egypt in August last year and put the project of holding a culture year on the agenda.

As ancient civilizations, China and Egypt have long and glorious cultures, and both have made great achievements in modern culture and art. Holding the culture year will boost friendship between the two peoples and invigorate development and cooperation between the countries, said Lu Yanfei, deputy director of the Bureau for External Cultural Relations of Chinese Ministry of Culture.

Lu said an opening ceremony will be held in Luxor attended by artists from both countries. China will subsequently hold more than 60 cultural activities around the country.

Egyptian Ambassador to China Magdy Amer said China and Egypt share a history of being the cradles of civilization and have many similarities. More than 2000 years ago, royal Egyptian families wore Chinese silk products that had reached them through the ancient Silk Road. Through Egyptian harbors Chinese goods were able to be shipped to other Mediterranean countries.

Egypt was the first Arabic and African country to establish official diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. In the past 60 years, the friendship between the countries has been enhanced in the pursuit of common interests and objectives. Nowadays, the "Belt and Road" initiative will bring vitality to the ancient Silk Road and create opportunities for the common prosperity for Egypt and China, said Amer.

Amer also said that, during the culture year, Egypt will hold activities including music and dance performances, exhibitions of relics and a tourism fair to promote exchanges between the countries.

The culture year will feature a total of 102 activities, 63 hosted by China and 39 by Egypt.

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