Country for PR: China
Contributor: Xinhua News Agency
Wednesday, November 15 2023 - 21:16
The 5th China-France Cultural Forum held in Suzhou
SUZHOU, China, Nov. 15, 2023 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/--

Former French Prime Minister Praises Suzhou: Exquisite in Both Tradition and 

On November 13, the 5th China-France Cultural Forum, jointly organized by the 
Western Returned Scholars Association (Overseas-educated Scholars Association 
of China) and the Fondation Prospective et Innovation, opened in Suzhou, China. 
With the theme "A New Era of China-France Friendship, A New Starting Point for 
Cultural Exchange," the forum aims to implement the consensus of the leaders of 
China and France, enhance mutual understanding through cultural exchange, and 
provide a platform for dialogue and exchange among cultural and artistic 
figures from both countries. Approximately 300 guests attended, engaging in 
discussions and exchanges in various fields, including culture, art, education, 
technology, and trade, to promote pragmatic cooperation.

Ding Zhongli, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's 
Congress and President of the Western Returned Scholars Association, noted in 
his address that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China 
and France in 1964, cultural exchanges have deepened mutual understanding, 
laying a solid foundation for the comprehensive strategic partnership between 
the two countries. As China and France approach the 60th anniversary of 
diplomatic relations, he expressed the hope that participants in this forum 
would deepen cultural exchanges, further consolidate the people-to-people 
friendship between China and France, and jointly contribute to world peace and 
human progress.

During the forum, participants visited Suzhou's classical gardens, intangible 
cultural heritage sites, Suzhou Museum, and more, experiencing the charm of 
Suzhou's traditional culture together. Raffarin, Jean-Pierre, Former French 
Prime Minister, praised Suzhou for its beauty in both tradition and modernity: 
"I have visited Suzhou before, and the impression is very profound. Suzhou has 
done a great job in the inheritance and promotion of culture. I feel that 
Suzhou has an excellent balance, whether in its long history, culture, scenery, 
heritage, including its water systems, all well preserved and promoted. At the 
same time, Suzhou is also a very modern city, with a well-connected 
transportation network and beautiful buildings, achieving a true balance 
between modernity and tradition. In France, Suzhou is often considered one of 
the most beautiful cities in China. When people mention the cultural vitality 
of Suzhou, it receives unanimous praise."

As the host city, Suzhou, over 700 years ago, impressed Western traveler Marco 
Polo as an "astonishingly beautiful city." This time, French guests, while 
appreciating the long history, were more amazed by Suzhou's modernization and 
extraordinary economic vitality.

During the forum, Wu Qingwen, Mayor of Suzhou, introduced that Suzhou, with a 
heritage of 2,500 years, is full of vitality. Suzhou is a crucial window for 
the world to understand China. Understanding Suzhou means understanding China's 
5,000 years of culture, and comprehending Suzhou means understanding the 
achievements of China's 40 years of reform and opening up.

Source: Suzhou Municipal Culture, Radio, Television and Tourism Bureau

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   Caption: During the forum, the guests took a group photo while visiting the 
Suzhou Silk Museum.