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French Culture Center Unveiled in Beijing

A French Culture Center was unveiled in Beijing Sunday in a bid to provide Chinese with the panoramic culture of the country, marking a new wave of Sino-French culture exchanges.

The center, a key program in the Year of France in China, is set up in line with an agreement signed by Chinese and French governments in 2002, pledging to establish culture centers in both countries so as to boost bilateral cultural exchanges.

Bernadette Chirac, wife of French President Jacques Chirac, inaugurated the French Culture Center by beating a gong, a traditional Chinese musical instrument. The French president is on a state visit to China which coincides with the opening of the Year of France in China.

"It is our wish to enhance the cultural exchanges and open up new windows for mutual understanding," said Chinese Vice Culture Minister Zhou Heping, "the establishment of French Culture Center signals the healthy development of Sino-French relations and the consolidation of bilateral cooperation."

The center will whet Chinese people's appetite for the French culture by offering various "cuisine" to promote cooperation between China and France in culture, art, education, communication and technological space.

Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, French minister of culture and communication, said that the Year of France in China could increase the mutual understanding of both countries and introduce to the Chinese the centuries-old and romantic French culture.

The French Culture Center is targeted to all the Chinese who are keen to know the every vein of French culture, with facilities including Cafe, movie theater, language center and library.
(Xinhua News Agency October 11, 2004)

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