China has held more than 300 exhibitions on the country's cultural relics overseas since 2002. These have played a role of "envoys" and "name cards," according to an ongoing national conference of heads of provincial departments in charge of cultural heritage.
The exhibitions have received strong response from foreign visitors when they were held as part of Sino-foreign "friendly year" programs in France, Italy, and Russia.
In recent years, China has increased exchanges and cooperation with foreign nations on the protection of its cultural heritage, according to the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.
Memorandums of understanding have been signed between China and India, the Republic of Korea, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Italy and Vietnam to cooperate on protection of cultural heritage. The country had also signed agreements with Italy, Peru, India and the Philippines to prevent the theft and smuggling of cultural relics.
Meanwhile, Chinese experts have been sent to help Cambodia, Mongolia and Kenya protect, maintain and study their cultural heritage. This cooperation has been spoken highly of by foreign governments concerned and international organizations.
In recent years, China has been playing an increasingly larger role in this field internationally. It has hosted a number of major international events, such as the 28th World Heritage Conference in 2004 and the 15th conference of the International Council on Monuments and Sites.
In 2010, China will host the 22nd congress of the International Council of Museums.
(Xinhua News Agency December 21, 2007)