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Austria-China Cultural Symposium

On January 31st, 2012 the “Austria-China Cultural Symposium”, which was held as part of the event “China Meets Austria” took place in the Kleiner Festaal of the University of Vienna. The event “China Meets Austria” stood under the patronage of the Austrian Federal President Dr. Heinz Fischer and was a joint event of the Confucius Institute at the University of Vienna and the ICT Management GmbH with the support of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.

With the motto “Looking back to the future – a milestone in history”, representatives of the Austrian and Chinese government, representatives of culture, art and academia, media agencies and artists of both countries were invited to held talks and discussions. The symposium offered a platform to exchange experiences and to prepare for future cooperation projects between Austria and China.

Early in the morning, more than 200 participants came to the symposium. Prof. Richard Trappl, Director of the Confucius Institute, welcomed the guests as the moderator of the event. Then H.E. Dr. Martin Eichtinger, Ambassador and Head of the Cultural Policy Section of the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, H.E. SHI Mingde, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Austria, and Dr. Franz Löschnak, president of the Organization to Support the Austrian-Chinese relations held opening speeches.

Famous Austrian personalities like Mr. Gerald Wirth, artistic director of the Vienna Boys’ Choir, Prof. Dieter Flury, CEO of the Vienna Philharmonics, Dr. Margareta Griessler-Hermann, Head of the International Relations Division in the Executive Office of the municipal department Vienna, Ms. Bernhard Kerres, CEO and Artistic Director of the Wiener Konzerthaus, Dr. Reinhard Mattes, director of the rural management of Upper Austria and Ms. Katharina Sedivy, procurator of the Vienna State Opera.

Also representatives of Chinese organizations and institutions took part at the symposium for the development of the intercultural relations between our two countries. Ms. GUO Shan, president of the China Symphony Development Foundation and Asia – Pacific Symphony Union, Mr. LIN Hongming, general manager of Shanghai Oriental Art Center, Mr. JIA Leilei, vice president of the Chinese National Academy of Arts, Mr. HUANG Haihua, a famous Suzhou Pingtan known artist, Prof. WANG Qiang of Beijing University, Prof. XU Mingqiang, China International Publishing Group, Mr. KE Chaoping, president of China East Region Theaters Union and general manager of the Hangzhou Theatre, and Mr. QI Xianyi, vice-president of the Music Channel of the China Central Television presented to the participants their institutions and future planned projects.

After each lecture the participants of the symposium had the opportunity to ask question, which were taken eagerly.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Austria 40 years ago, the cooperation in the fields of politics, economy and culture between the two countries have undergone extensive developments.

With the festival “China Meets Austria”, which took place in and around Vienna from January 30th to February 5th 2012, a new highlight of cultural exchange was set.

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