2014 is the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between France and China. It is an occasion to highlight once more the quality of the relationship between the two nations in all its forms, notably in the fields of education, tourism, culture and sustainable development. In the context of this anniversary year, the Alsace Region, in partnership with the French Foreign Ministry and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) organised the Fourth Conference on French-Chinese decentralised cooperation on 6-7 November 2014 in Strasbourg. This event, whose objective was to facilitate exchanges between French and Chinese communities in order to stimulate new projects in both countries, welcomed over 600 attendees.
The Association of Cultural Encounter Centres (ACCR) was present along with two representatives of the Cultural Encounter Centres: the Dominicains de Haute-Alsace and the Château de Goutelas.
France and China have placed urban and rural development at the heart of their respective strategies, and this issue is a priority for their cooperation. The ACCR’s work is central to this theme, thanks to its key role in the development of regional communities. In this context, our president Yves Dauge delivered an address entitled ‘Cultural projects and cultural exchange: vectors of regional development’. His involvement gave rise to questions and comment, the ACCR being the only cultural organisation to take part in this discussion workshop.
The highlight of this Fourth Conference on French-Chinese decentralised cooperation was the signing of the cooperation agreement between the ACCR and CPAFFC, represented by its president and influential Chinese businesswoman Li Xiaolin, in the presence of Ji Bingxuan (vice-president of the Chinese National Peoples’ Congress), Maurice Gourdault-Montagne (French Ambassador to China) and Zhai Jun (Chinese Ambassador to France).
The cooperation agreement is the precious fruit of eighteen months of work. It illustrates the depth and the dynamism of French-Chinese exchanges in areas of common interest, and officially marks the engagement of the ACCR and CPAFFC in promoting and developing cultural exchange and bilateral cooperation.
The next exchange with our Chinese partners will take place in the near future, as CPAFFC has invited a French delegation including the ACCR for a visit from 02-08 December 2014.