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UK to get insight into the vibrant west side of nation

By Wang Mingjie in London | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-07-21 03:09

UK to get insight into the vibrant west side of nation

Lu Wei (left), deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, and Liu Xiaoming (center), China's ambassador to the UK, attend the opening ceremony of Cultural Exploration of West China in London on Thursday. Wang Bo / China Daily

A weeklong event showcasing the culture of Western China opened in the UK on Thursday, offering British people the chance to become acquainted with the region.

The Cultural Exploration of West China tour, part of the Experience China series, kicked off in London and events will roll out to Manchester, Edinburgh, and Dublin, Ireland.

The tour was organized by the State Council Information Office and is the first time such an activity has been taken to the United Kingdom.

The program features an exhibition, a folk singing and dancing performance, and two films, focusing on Tibet.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Lu Wei, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said: "Both China and the UK are important representatives of Oriental and Occidental civilizations. The cultural exchanges between the two countries have been going on for hundreds of years and played an irreplaceable role in promoting mutual understanding between the two peoples."

Lu said he hopes more people in the UK will become familiar with China's multiethnic culture.

Ambassador Liu Xiaoming said at the opening ceremony that Western China was a late-mover in terms of economic development, compared to the East Coast, but he noted that the region had turned that into an advantage and is now achieving fast growth.

"China is a vast country. There is a huge difference between the Eastern and Western parts of China. British friends who have been to the more advanced coastal regions in the East might not know a lot about China's West," he said.

Lu Guangjin, director-general of the State Council Information Office, said the nation's culture is broad and diverse, but most people outside China only know about Han culture.

Noting that President Xi Jinping's state visit to the UK in 2015 opened up a new era for Sino-UK relations, Lu said culture will play a more essential role in promoting understanding and mutual trust.

The exhibition, themed Color of West China, is on display at the Mermaid Theater in London from Thursday to Saturday. It comprises 100 photographs and 18 cultural artifacts. The photographs portray the colorful customs and vibrant economic development of Western China.

The films, Born in China and Roof of the World will be shown at the Mermaid Theater on Friday.

Born in China is a 2016 nature documentary directed by Lu Chuan. It is a co-production between China, the United States and the UK. It tells the stories of a snow leopard family, a golden snub-nosed monkey, a giant panda, and a herd of Tibetan antelope.

Roof of the World is the first Chinese documentary to have been made about life on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the highest plane on Earth.

Visitors to the opening event were treated to a gala called Dancing in the Clouds, which includes folk singing and dancing from Western China's ethnic groups.

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