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State Plans Closer Ties with UNESCO

China's cultural and educational departments will further widen their partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) this year, by implementing several new educational programs.

They include promoting basic education and farming skills in rural areas of China and other developing countries, Tian Xiaogang, an official with the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO, said at a news conference yesterday in Beijing.

China set up an international training centre for rural education in the 1990s in Baoding of North China's Hebei Province, with the support of UNESCO.

"Based on this centre, we will pool talent from China Agricultural University and invite overseas agricultural experts to build up capacity in farming skills in rural areas of China, as well as in Asia and Africa," Tian said.

Since China resumed its legal seat in UNESCO in 1971, the country and UNESCO have successfully teamed up in such areas as education for the public, fighting illiteracy, heritage protection, conservation of biological diversity, geology, oceanology and hydrology sciences.

In another development, the Ministry of Education has encouraged major universities across the country to take on 40 important research programmes involving social sciences, such as the relations of ethnic groups and religious issues, major problems during the process of urbanization, studies on the country's educational issues and human resources.

(China Daily March 3, 2004)

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