Spain's First Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la
Vega and China's Minister of Culture Sun Jiazheng on Friday evening inaugurated the
"Year of Spain in China", a yearlong series of activities aimed at
fostering bilateral friendship and cooperation.
Spanish artists stage a
performance at the opening ceremony of the "Year of Spain in China"
on Friday in Beijing.
"The Sino-Spainish relationship is now in sound development. I
am totally satisfied with it," Maria told reporters after a meeting
with Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday afternoon.
The two countries have laid out an ambitious agenda for the
coming year, which will see the establishment of a renewable energy
research center, a joint study of climate change and water
pollution and the promotion and use of renewable energy, said
It is not yet known where the research center's headquarters
will be located, but both countries have indicated that sustainable
development will bring wealth to the two countries' peoples while
leaving a better world for future generations.
Touching on trade and economic issues, Maria said that in her
meeting with Wen the two have agreed that more Spanish enterprises
should be encouraged to enter the Chinese market and increase
exports to China.
The two countries have also decided to cooperate on projects in
Latin America and Africa, said Maria. Leaders are now identifying
those fields in which the two countries have interests.
"President Hu Jintao's visit to Africa has proved that
China attaches great importance to the relationship with Africa. So
does Spain," said Maria.
In the field of education, the two countries will work together
to promote exchange visits of researchers and professors. And the
two countries will recognize diplomas from universities in each
Maria said Spain welcomed more Chinese students to study in her
country and promised to provide support, including streamlined
visa-issuing procedures for Chinese students who want to study in
On the cultural front, the Cervantes Institute branches in
Beijing and Shanghai will organize various Spanish learning events,
while China will soon set up Confucius Institutes in Spain.
Cultural exchanges will be a key part of the Year of Spain.
Spanish dancing, drama, exhibitions, movies and music will be
presented at various venues.
A number of Spanish actors, musicians and dancers will take part
in cultural activities such as the Shanghai Art Festival. About 15
Spanish feature films will be shown during Shanghai International
Film Festival. The works of award-winning photographers will also
be on display in galleries across the country.
Touching on the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Maria said Spain
will be happy to share with China its rich experience in
organizing, publicizing and providing security for large-scale
"The Spanish government and private sector would like to play a
proactive role in the preparation for the games, and we hope it is
a great success," she said.
China and Spain decided to hold the Spain year during Hu's visit
to the country in 2005. The two sides also promised to support and
promote the "Year of Spain in China" in 2007 and the "Chinese Art
Festival" in Spain for the sake of further strengthening their
overall strategic partnership and to help promote mutual
understanding between their peoples.
"China considers Spain an important partner in the EU. The
upcoming Year of Spain and Chinese Art Festival will enhance trade
and economic cooperation and strengthen consultations and
coordination between the two countries," said State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan.
(China Daily April 7, 2007)