Press release

New cultural agreement leads to closer co-operation between Britain and China

Culture Ministers sign agreement in Beijing

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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A new cultural agreement was signed today by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Maria Miller and Chinese Minister for Culture, Minister Cai Wu.

The signing of the agreement in Beijing today, is for a five year programme of cultural exchanges and will give a boost to cultural and creative exchanges between the UK and China. Among the artists and organisations expected to tour China in 2014/15 are the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Northern Ballet, National Theatre of Scotland, and Shakespeare’s Globe.

Culture Secretary Maria Miller said:

“ Last year saw the largest ever festival of UK culture in China. UK Now took over 700 British artists to audiences in 29 cities across China. In return we have seen some fantastic examples of Chinese culture coming to the UK, from a heavy metal version of Coriolanus at this year’s Edinburgh Festival to the current exhibition of Masterpieces of Chinese Painting at the V&A.

“ We hope that this agreement will see many more such cultural exchanges flourish between the UK and China. Through our performing and visual arts, museums, cultural heritage, literature, film and television we will work together, encourage tourism, and reinforce the UK’s reputation as a world leader in the arts and creative industries.”

British Council CEO, Martin Davidson said:

“ Cultural relations between the UK and China have never been stronger. Following the consecutive hosting of the Olympic Games and the UK Now festival in China last year, the renewal of the Cultural Exchange Agreement, led by the British Council and Ministry of Culture, takes us forward to 2018. I really believe that this Agreement can provide the framework for even stronger cultural relations between our two countries, both in terms of more people experiencing arts from our respective countries, and working together on cultural infrastructure.”

Among the commitments laid out in the agreement are:

  • To provide an active programme of cultural exchanges in each country including sharing expertise, information and knowledge;
  • To encourage and facilitate arts groups and artists to participate in major arts festivals in each country to strengthen mutual understanding;
  • To co-organise and co-fund training programmes for Chinese museum managers, curators and conservationists.

Notes to Editors

  1. A full copy of the Cultural Exchange agreement can be found here.

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Published 2 December 2013