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  Why the power of culture means culture is power  

China’s Minister of Culture Cai Wu said Monday afternoon that Ministry of Culture will soon unveil a guide document to promote the development of culture industry in frame of the Guidelines for the Promotion Culture Industries endorsed by the State Council on July 22. It is the eleventh industry rejuvenation plan issued by State Council after the textile, light industry, the motor industry and others.


“It is a plan people in the culture filed have expected for long time. Upon the global financial crisis, the State Council makes such a plan to support and promote the development of culture industry, means that the government has included culture industry into the country’s economic development strategy. From a long term of view, rejuvenation culture industry is the inexorable way to strengthen China’s `soft power’, the cultural impact in the world,” said Cai.

The Minister said that developing the culture industry would adjust the country’s entire economic structure. “The culture industry offers a great many jobs, uses less natural sources but produces more added values. In the first quarter of 2009, the growth rate of China’s cultural industry is above 17%, 6-8 percent over the concurrent GDP growth rate. It means, on the one hand, the cultural industry has made constant increasing contribution to the nation’s economy, on the other, it indicates that people’s increase demand for the culture products,” said he.

To meet this increasing need, Minister of Culture is working on the national network of public cultural services. As the nation spends more fund and efforts in the public cultural undertakings, the building of cultural infrastructure has enjoyed tremendous support across China, forging an extensive network of public cultural services covering both rural and urban areas.

When the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949, there were only 55 libraries, 896 cultural centers and 21 museums all around China, whereas after 60 years of development, particularly after 30 years of reform and opening-up, there are now 2,820 public libraries, 3,218 cultural centers and 1,893 museums. Most counties have realized the goal of having at least one library and one cultural center, and township cultural stations and village or community culture rooms have developed from none to 4,107 and 247,332 respectively by the end of 2008.

Aside of the development of the public culture service, Ministry of Culture has been working on reform the administration system of culture so as to make the state-owned cultural enterprises market-oriented and economically efficient. According to Cai, a large number of performance and exhibition agencies, film studios, audio-visual enterprises and theatres have finished the management transformation, among which 40 are of provincial level, 147 are of municipal level and 240 are of county level.

After Ministry of Culture issued a circular entitled Recommendations on the Deepening of Reform on State-owned Cultural and Performance Troupes early this year, up to now, 77 state-owned performing arts troupes have transformed into companies and another 59 provincial troupes will start their experimental transformation soon.

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