An initiative designed to strengthen cultural links between the United Kingdom and China was launched in London on Thursday.
The program, named "China-UK: Connections through Culture," will support cultural organizations in both countries to build understanding of and links with partner organizations, leading to increased cultural activity between China and the UK.
"China-UK: Connections through Culture" is a joint initiative between the Department for Culture Media and Sport, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British Council with support from the Scottish Executive.
It aims to further develop cultural cooperation between the UK and China with a view to improving overall relations, including diplomatic and trade ties, between the two countries.
Culture Minister David Lammy who launched the initiative said: "China and the UK can both lay claim to rich, vibrant cultures which go back centuries. The unique histories of both countries have produced world-class arts and cultural traditions -- from architecture and fine art to music, sport and literature."
"This is an exciting time to talk about expanding cultural links between our two countries. Never before have exchanges and cooperation between China and Britain expanded at the unprecedented rate of today."
Hundreds of arts organizations from across the UK and China have signaled their desire to be part of the largest arts networking initiative to date.
This will be achieved through a database for information provision, networking opportunities, assistance with brokering relationships, promotional support and professional development opportunities.
The British Council, UK's international organization for educational opportunities and cultural relations, which operates in 220 towns and cities in 110 countries and territories worldwide, is one of the key player in the program.
(Xinhua News Agency July 21, 2006)