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Asian Cultural League Planned

The three-day Asian Cultural Cooperation Conference, which finished in Beijing today, has resulted in the planning of an "Asian Cultural League" to foster regional dialogue.

"We should attach importance to protecting a diverse cultural environment because it is a driving force for progress in human society," said Li Tieying, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

The Chinese Culture Promotion Society hosted the conference, with representatives from non-governmental organizations from the mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, as well as India, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

The representatives unanimously supported a proposal to establish a regional cultural cooperation organization and an "Asian Cultural Fund" next year.

Aiming for better protection of multiculturalism in Asia, the league would be set up on a voluntary basis with the support of Asian governments and civil societies.

The fund, to be founded in Hong Kong with a starting capital of US$50 million, mostly raised from civil society, would finance multicultural activities.

"We hope to see a better united cultural community in Asia," said delegate Kalyan Charkravarty, Member Secretary of the Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts.

(China Daily May 31, 2005)

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