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France Has Long-lasting Interest in Chinese Culture

France has been long interested in Chinese culture, and the exchanges between the two countries will continue to expand, said Jean-Pierre Lafon, French ambassador to China.

He talked about the upcoming China-France Culture Year, which will last till July 2005, and the Chinese Culture Year to be held in France from October to July 2004.

The ambassador said that the China-France Culture Year is significant as it offers an opportunity for the French people to learn about Chinese people and culture.

He said that hundreds of Chinese artists will go to France and perform around the country.

Jean-Pierre Lafon said that the cultural exchanges between China and France date back to the 16th century when French artists published books after a visit to China.

In recent years, some Chinese artists have lived and studied in France, and taken French culture back to China.

Jean-Pierre Lafon said he himself is interested in China's philosophy and traditional literature, noting that Chinese and French philosophy have shared some similar views.

The ambassador has visited many Chinese cities including Xi'an,Shanghai and Kunming since he became French ambassador to China. He expressed appreciation for the rapid growth of the Chinese economy, and voiced his belief that China's prosperity will push forward its cultural diversity.
(Xinhua News Agency October 4, 2003)

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