Ministers of Culture of Estonia, China discuss ways to strengthen relations
Estonian Minister of Culture Indrek Saar met with his counterpart, Chinese Minister of Culture Luo Shugang, in Beijing on Friday, with whom he discussed possibilities for the strengthening of cultural relations between the two countries.
According to a press release, the Estonian minister thanked Shugang for his personal contributions to the strengthening of cultural relations between Estonia and China.
“China’s interest in and supportive attitude toward cultural exchange have helped make Estonia bigger,” said Saar. “I invited the Chinese minister to come visit Estonia, and he accepted the invitation with great delight and and interest.”
The Estonian cultural minister noted that one of the biggest upcoming potential collaborations between the two countries was the possibility of the Beijing Opera performing at the 2018 Saaremaa Opera Festival.
Shugang stated that the Chinese side is very interested in cooperation with Estonia and noted creative economy, heritage culture, and youth exchanges as potential areas with a good outlook for cooperation. The Chinese minister also proposed each country opening a cultural center in the other.
Shugang described Estonia’s achievements in creative economy as outstanding and something that China could learn from. He also noted that both countries hold spiritual as well as tangible heritage culture close to their hearts, and that China’s rich 5,000-year history could be of great interest for the Estonian public. The Chinese minister also pledged continued support for interaction between young creative people from both countries.
The Estonian Minister of Culture’s visit to Beijing was tied to the 25th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations between the two countries, as well as the Estonian Week organized in Beijing to mark the occasion.
Also part of the visit, China and Estonia signed an agreement on cinematic cooperation between the two countries, which is valid for four years and will automatically be extended for an addition four-year period if neither side has decided to opt out.
Deputy Director of State Administration of Press Tong Gang stated that Estonia was the 14th country globally to sign such an agreement with China, and described its signing as the start of a new era in cultural relations between the two countries.
Gang noted that the Chinese film industry had seen rapid development in the past decade, just as that of Estonia had, and he expected that Estonian films would begin to be screened at well-known Beijing, Shanghai and Silk Road Film Festivals.