Chinese Culture Minister Cai Wu and Singapore’s Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Yaacob Ibrahim signed the Sixth executive program on cultural cooperation in arts, heritage and library here Saturday.
Cai was leading a delegation from China’s Ministry of Culture since Wednesday to attend the first meeting of China-ASEAN ( Association of Southeast Asian Nations) culture ministers and the fifth meeting of ASEAN+3 culture ministers that also involved the representatives from Japan and South Korea.
Addressing the meeting of ASEAN+3 culture ministers, Cai said the countries have achieved breakthroughs and significant progress in cultural cooperation.
China is willing to work together with the ASEAN countries to expand cultural cooperation and bring it to a higher level, he said.
Cai and his counterparts from the ASEAN member nations also held the first meeting of China-ASEAN culture ministers. They agreed to officially launch the China-ASEAN culture ministerial meeting mechanism, the 12th ministerial meeting mechanism launched by China and the 10-nation bloc.
Cai said the first meeting of China-ASEAN culture ministers marks the beginning of a new era for the cultural cooperation between China and the ASEAN nations.
The new era called for China and the ASEAN nations to boost their cultural cooperation, which should be ever more pragmatic and more open, he said.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao called for the establishment of a culture ministerial meeting mechanism at a summit of regional leaders in Indonesia last year. The Chinese culture minister and his ASEAN counterparts agreed to establish such a mechanism at a meeting later in the Chinese city of Chongqing.
At the ASEAN+3 and the China-ASEAN meetings, Cai outlined what China think should be the priorities for the action plan for ASEAN+ 3 cultural cooperation and the China-ASEAN culture cooperation framework.
While in Singapore, Cai and his counterparts from the ASEAN member nations, Japan and South Korea also called on Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Lee said the Singapore government attached great importance to the ASEAN+3 and the China-ASEAN cultural cooperation.
Cai said that the consensus achieved at the ASEAN+3 culture ministerial meeting are set to help push forward the regional cooperation, and that the establishment of the China-ASEAN culture ministerial meeting mechanism will also help the countries turn a new leaf in cultural cooperation, which, in turn, will contribute to the growth of the ties.
Cai left Singapore for Beijing on Saturday.