|EU hails China's culture growth|
Brussels has welcomed Beijing's strategy to boost its soft power by spreading its colorful cultures across globe after years of economic success, said a top European Union (EU) culture official.
European Commission's Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said culture plays an important part in achieving Beijing's aspiration of gaining more global influence and sharpening its soft power. In late 2011, China's highest leadership decided to make it a national development strategy for the coming years to build up its cultural strength and global influence.
Vassiliou, commissioner in charge of education, culture, multilingualism and youth, said China's international role has dramatically increased in the past decade, largely due to economic considerations and it is strengthening international ties and engaging in international discussion.
"Now, it is starting to envisage its role in the world as more than just commercial or economic. In this context, culture plays an important part," she told China Daily in an exclusive interview.
But Vassiliou said China should commit to respecting cultural diversity and boosting two-way exchanges. She expressed her views before the opening of the 2012 EU-China Year of Intercultural Dialogue, which was decided at the EU-China Summit in October 2010 by leaders of both sides.
Building on the 2011 EU-China Year of Youth, the Year of Intercultural Dialogue will promote not only cultural exchanges but also all forms of people-to-people contacts and international projects that contribute to mutual understanding in different policy fields.
Before the opening ceremony, China's Minister of Culture said the decisions to boost increased culture exchanges between China and the EU in crisis-era have shown courage and determinations of leaders of both sides.
"Nowadays, globalization is speeding up and both China and EU should go beyond political and economic cooperation and contribute to the human's future from cultural front," said Cai, who is in Brussels kicking off the EU-China Year of Intercultural Dialogue. The opening ceremony is scheduled on Wednesday night local time.
In a note seen by China Daily, Cai said China has attached great importance to cultural exchanges with other countries when helping bring a peaceful, stable, equal and mutual-trusting international surroundings.
"Though China and&