UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.2198
TO BE ANSWERED ON 15.3.2016
CULTURAL DIPLOMACY IN CHINA
2198. SHRI M.I. SHANAVAS:
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:
(a) whether any major steps have been taken to improve cultural diplomacy with China;
(b) if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor;
(c) whether any delegation visited China in the last three years to improve cultural ties with China; and
(d) if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor?
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[GEN. (DR) V. K. SINGH (RETD)]
(a) to (d) Strengthening of cultural ties between India and China has formed an important element of high level visits between the two countries. During the visit of Rashtrapati ji to China in May 2016, ten MoUs on academic collaboration and exchanges between academic institutions were signed. During the visit of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to China in May 2015, the two sides signed a MoU on Educational Exchange Programme to enhance contacts and cooperation in the field of education. MoUs establishing a Centre for Gandhian and Indian Studies at Fudan University and a Yoga College at Yunnan Minzu University were also signed during the visit. During the visit of President Xi Jinping to India in September 2014, the two sides signed a MoU to enhance cooperation between cultural institutions of the two countries to foster long-term collaboration between various cultural institutions like museums, archaeological organizations and performing art centers. The Encyclopaedia of India-China Cultural Contacts was released in Beijing during the visit of Vice President Shri Hamid Ansari to China in June 2014. A MoU on exhibition of ‘Gupta Sculpture and their Chinese Parallels’ was signed during the visit of Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao to India in November 2015. The exhibition was inaugurated in Beijing in September 2016 and is currently travelling to other cities in China.
Year 2014 was marked as a ‘Year of Friendly Exchanges’ by the two countries. Several cultural exchanges and activities under ‘Glimpses of India’ were organized in 2014. Years 2015 and 2016 were celebrated as the ‘Visit India Year’ in China and the ‘Visit China Year’ in India respectively. The ‘Visit India Year’ was launched during the visit of External Affairs Minister to China in February 2015. A series of promotional activities were carried out throughout the year to boost tourism flow and strengthen people-to-people bonds between the two countries. Several events were organised in various parts of China to celebrate the International Yoga Day in 2015 and 2016. The two countries also have a programme for annual exchange of youth delegations. The youth exchange programme was expanded in 2015 to include 200 youths each year from 2015 to 2019.
Several cultural events focusing on promoting Indian performing and visual art forms, films, languages, literature, cuisine and culture are organised in China on a regular basis.
Several delegations of Indian artistes, academics, scholars and officials visited China during the last three years to strengthen cultural ties with China.