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The people of Nanjing will be the first in China to experience modern and innovative Germany through concerts, exhibitions, movies and fairs.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Party secretary of Jiangsu provincial committee Li Yuanchao will inaugurate the three-year "Germany and China - Moving Ahead Together" program tonight in Nanjing. The program will travel to other cities such as Guangzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu till 2010.

"We chose Nanjing as the first city because it is a cultural center and has a long history of exchange with Germany," said Wolfgang Rohr, head of Germany-China Task Force for the three-year program, at a press conference yesterday.

Nearly a century ago, some German companies such as Siemens set up shop in Nanjing. And since then, exchanges in the fields of science, education and culture between China and Germany have continued. Nanjing today is home to hundreds of German enterprises.

The German activities will continue in the city till early November and include the classical ballet, Romeo and Juliet, to be performed jointly by the Stuttgart Ballet and the National Ballet of China.

Among the other activities are a film week, a painting exhibition, dance recitals and forums on city development and environmental protection.

The Nanjing program will reach its peak with the weeklong "German Boulevard", an open-air exhibition on the cooperation between Germany and China.

The activities aim to explain to the Chinese public that there is more to Germany than Karl Marx, Western classical music, literature, philosophy, soccer, luxury cars and Michael Schumacher.

(China Daily August 28, 2007)

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