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China, Spain Seek New Channels to Cement Cultural Exchanges

China and Spain are making joint efforts to promote the founding of an Institute of Confucius in Spain and a branch of the Cervantes Institute in Beijing in the near future, according to a document issued Wednesday at a China-Spain forum.

At the third meeting of the forum which concluded on Wednesday, more than 300 participants from the two countries held in-depth discussions on further cementing cooperation in politics, economy, culture, law and other fields.

Setting up cultural centers in each other's countries was an agreement reached by China and Spain during President Hu Jintao's state visit to Spain last November. Participants believe that it will make a positive contribution to Spanish language teaching and the spread of Spanish culture in China, and to popularization of Chinese culture on Spain.

The two countries are also seeking to enhance cultural cooperation by holding the Year of Spain in China, cultivating high-level talents, and promoting language teaching, television production and protection of cultural relics.

According to the document issued at the third meeting of the China-Spain forum, the two countries will encourage the translation of both countries' literary works.

The two sides will also cooperate in producing TV programs and promoting exchanges between film research organizations, the document says.

The Year of Spain will be held in China in 2007. "It will provide the Chinese public with a window to Spain's culture, art and everyday life," said Spanish Minister of Development Magdalena Alvarez.

The China-Spain forum, established in July 2003, is an unofficial, high-level institution. The Chinese Chairman of the forum is now Hu Qili, former vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and the Spanish Chairman is Juan Antonio Samaranch, honorary president of the International Olympic Committee.

The first and second meetings of the forum were held in Beijing and Barcelona in December 2003 and November 2004, respectively.

(Xinhua News Agency March 23, 2006)

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