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Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development

Cultural Centers Bringing Real China to Global Audience


Almost three decades since the first China Cultural Center was opened in Mauritius in 1988, China has established 31 centers around the world - 12 in Europe, 10 in Asia, five in Africa, three in Australia and Oceania, and one in Latin America. More than 4,000 cultural activities have been held in these places, reaching over 3 million people across the globe.

Through a series of cultural events – such as exhibitions, lectures, performances and trainings – the centers offer a close look at authentic Chinese culture, as well as boost exchanges and cooperation between China and the rest of the world.

Zheng Hao, an official with the Bureau for External Cultural Relations under the Chinese Ministry of Culture, said China will have more than 50 cultural centers abroad by 2020.

The 'Happy Chinese New Year' program

"Happy Chinese New Year" is a project under the Chinese Culture Ministry to promote the culture of the 400-year-old Spring Festival, or lunar New Year.

Since 2001, the program has helped bring hundreds of cultural events - exhibitions, expos and performances - to countries around the world.

These activities not only help pass down festival traditions to younger generations of Chinese immigrants living abroad, but also help people understand and resonate with the festival's spirit: no matter if it's family cohesion, or more broadly, world peace.

Inheritance and Innovation: China's intangible cultural heritages

In June 2017, various events under the program of Inheritance and Innovation: Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage Week were held in 29 Chinese cultural centers overseas.

Knowing all about China via 'China Day'

Activities in China Days include performances of folk music and dances, demonstrations of traditional art, as well as tasting genuine Chinese food.

Understanding China through cultural talks

Chinese Culture Talk is a series of lectures on Chinese philosophy, religion, literature, cuisine, medicine and other traditional-culture-related subjects. It's sponsored by the Bureau for External Cultural Relations of the Chinese Ministry of Culture.

Every year, the Culture Ministry selects three to four groups of outstanding scholars to give lectures in Chinese embassies, consulates, cultural centers or local agencies.

Appreciating art through dialogues between East and West

To facilitate understanding between different art forms and cultures, the Chinese Culture Ministry also hosts events in its cultural centers to bridge dialogues between works of Chinese art legends and their counterparts in foreign countries.

In 2016, for example, an array of cultural events, including seminars, forums and performances, were held across the world to mark the 400th death anniversary of celebrated Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu (1550-1616) and English poet and playwright William Shakespeare (1564-1616).

The Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) playwright, hailed by his followers as "China's William Shakespeare", composed more than 2,000 poems and essays in his lifetime. He is particularly remembered for four plays - The Peony Pavilion, The Purple Hairpin, Record of the Southern Bough, and Record of Handan.

Experiencing China through trainings and tours around China

The China Cultural Centers provide language and cultural trainings with long and short-term courses. The most outstanding students are sent to China every year under the program titled Experience China – China Cultural Center Students Award Tour.

In August this year, 65 students from from 23 countries visited China. They stepped into the country's most famous scenic spots, historical sites, museums and theaters in Beijing, and tried traditional Chinese art and crafts, such as painting, weaving, dyeing and potteries.

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