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Event aims to boost BRI exchanges and Silk Road spirit

Updated: 2023-09-01 08:18 ( CHINA DAILY )
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The performance of the classic dance drama Flower Rains Along the Silk Road at the Silk Road (Dunhuang) International Cultural Expo, in September 2016. [PHOTO/XINHUA]

The sixth edition of the Silk Road (Dunhuang) International Cultural Expo is due to kick off in Dunhuang, Northwest China's Gansu province. It will take place from Sept 6 to 7.

Themed Connect the World: Cultural Exchange and Mutual Learning Between Civilizations, this year's expo continues to boost cultural exchange and cooperation between China and countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

The event is co-hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the National Radio and Television Administration, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the Gansu Provincial People's Government.

Peng Yubin, deputy director of the bureau of international exchange and cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, says that the expo, first established in 2015, highlights cultural exchanges within the Belt and Road Initiative.

It is also the event's objective to promote the Silk Road spirit that incorporates peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, and mutual learning, as well as shared benefits.

This year, Turkmenistan has been invited to serve as the guest of honor, and a special exhibition hall is set up on-site where cultural and artistic events, as well as product showcases, will be held.

"We believe that the hosting of this year's expo will promote high-quality development of cultural and tourism exchanges and cooperation between China and Turkmenistan, foster mutual understanding between the people of the two countries, and strengthen the foundation of friendly relations," Peng says.

More than 1,200 guests are due to attend the expo's opening ceremony, including Chinese government representatives, culture ministers from multiple countries and representatives from UNESCO.

According to He Xiaozu, head of the Gansu Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, the events are arranged based on three aspects — to support the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, to pass down and promote Dunhuang culture, and to drive economic and social development.

In the Dunhuang Forums section, 13 discussions on cultural heritage preservation will take place, its topics ranging from Dunhuang studies to friendly exchange among ancient civilizations.

Nine exhibitions will display the cultural relics, artworks and merchandise that can be seen along the Belt and Road routes.

Additionally, the expo will feature a range of performing arts events, including the Flying Apsaras musical concert by the China Oriental Performing Arts Group presenting Dunhuang culture, a folk concert centered on the Belt and Road Initiative, and a gala titled Meeting in Dunhuang in which international artists will take part.

"We are dedicated to building a collaborative platform that transforms the valuable resources gathered by the expo, including information, technology, commodities and talent, into a pivot for advancing the cultural and tourism industries, as well as the conference and exhibition industry," He says.

In order to boost economic development, the expo will organize a series of events aimed at attracting investment and showcasing cultural and tourism products.

As of Aug 24, the expo had invited around 200 companies from both home and abroad to participate. It is estimated that 26 projects will be agreed during the event, with a total investment of 13.5 billion yuan ($1.85 billion).

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