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Monday, September 24, 2018, 12:54
Digital age ramps up cultural exchange
By Zhang Li, Shi Ruipeng and Wen Zongduo
Monday, September 24, 2018, 12:54 By Zhang Li, Shi Ruipeng and Wen Zongduo

The digital age will speed the expansion of cultural exchanges, both online and offline, between China and member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), according to forum participants in Nanning, South China.

Cyber culture captured much attention in Nanning, capital of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, at a variety of forums held between Sept 11 and 19. Fan Weiping, deputy director of the State Administration of Radio and Television, said earlier that the region will embrace better development opportunities and broader space for cooperation.

At the China-ASEAN Information Harbor Network-Based Cultural Development Forum in Nanning, Fan put forward three proposals: to jointly promote the prosperous development of cyber culture; to promote the construction of an international cyber audiovisual governance system; and to conduct cooperation in internet information technology and industry.

In recent years, the State Administration of Radio and Television has attached great importance to the development of cyber audiovisual culture and industry, strengthening the construction of information infrastructure, supporting the creation of cyber audiovisual content, and standardizing the order of cyber audiovisual communication.

Savankhone Razmountry, vice-minister of Press, Culture and Tourism Ministry of Laos, said today’s young people, with unfettered access to information through smartphones, have become the majority of users in this technological innovation era. “In the next few years, one of Laos’ core strategic goals will be to popularize its culture, tourism and media communication through the internet,” he said at the forum on Sept 13.

This forum, where 15 Chinese and foreign guests delivered speeches, explored the paths and methods of exchange and cooperation of China-ASEAN cyber culture.

Speakers included Chen Qirong, director of the internet literature committee of the Chinese Writers Association; Huang Yu, director of the Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region; Geng Danhao, senior vice-president of IQIYI; Tong Zhilei, chairman & CEO of ChineseAll; and Yue Guan, a well-known cyberspace writer. 

Zhang Xunhong, director of the cyberspace work bureau of the Cyberspace Administration of China, and Wu Xiaoli, deputy director of the Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, hosted the discussions.

As close neighbors and well-linked partners, China and ASEAN have the unique advantage to carry out the exchange and cooperation of cyber culture, said speakers.

Organizers of the forum — the first high-end cyber culture forum to be held in Nanning — included the Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the Office of Cyberspace Administration of Guangxi, and CRI Online.

As the region innovates new channels for political and economic cooperation to sustain development amid global uncertainties, more people-to-people exchanges in culture, tourism, science and education, among others, will facilitate mutual understanding and trust, said Chen Lisheng, president of the Guangxi Academy of Social Sciences.

The Silk Road itself has been a road for exchanges of different cultures and civilizations for centuries, Chen noted at the 11th China-ASEAN Think Tank Strategic Dialogue Forum on Sept 18.

Zhao Litao, senior research fellow at the East Asian Institute (EAI), National University of Singapore, noted that transnational networks and collaboration in information collection are conducive to the expansion of social-cultural links — which cannot be measured only by numbers of international tourists and students.

Wan Maisarah Binti Md. Isa, from the Ministry of Human Resources of Malaysia, suggested the two regions collaborate in on-the-job training and to create a platform to improve understanding of each social culture.

Nanning this year held a series of cultural events during the September CAEXPO season to mark the 15th anniversary of the China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership. It also hosted offline cultural shows for arts and crafts, youth design, as well as tourism promotions, before and during the 15th China-ASEAN Expo.

Huang Xilian, the Chinese ambassador to ASEAN, led his ASEAN counterparts and senior ASEAN Secretariat officials on a “Heart-Touching Tour Beyond Borders” that visited Beijing, Nanning, and Hangzhou in East China’s Zhejiang province. In Nanning, they attended a China-ASEAN Cultural Exchange event that saw the launch of a cultural documentary titled Dan’s Way, which depicts the life of ordinary ASEAN people.

Among the highlights were the China-ASEAN International Design Forum on Sept 14, the 12th China-ASEAN Youth Artistic Works Contest & Exhibition on Award-Winning Works on Sept 13, the Cities of Charm event on Sept 12-13, the China-ASEAN Cultural Exchange and China-ASEAN Red Cross Humanity Forum on Sept 12, and the 13th China-ASEAN Cultural Forum on Sept 11-12.

Contact the writers at wen@chinadailyhk.com

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