2017 Year of Greece – China Cultural Exchanges
Within the framework of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of the two countries, 2017 was declared as Year of Cultural Exchanges between Greece and China. A range of activities in both countries aims to highlight their cultural wealth and to contribute to a better knowledge of the history and profile of the two peoples.
The Greek and the Chinese civilization are among the oldest civilizations in the History of humanity. The bilateral educational and cultural relations are based on the Cultural Cooperation Agreement that was signed in 1978 and is implemented by three-years Programmes.
- in 2008, a Memorandum of Cooperation on the prevention of theft, illegal excavation, import and export of cultural property was signed
- in 2010, the Protocol of Cultural Exchanges for the period 2011-2013 was renewed.
During Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s visit to Beijing (July 2016), the following agreements in the field of cultural cooperation were signed:
- a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports and the P.R.C. State Administration of Cultural Heritage on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage
- a Memorandum of Understanding on the Cooperation between the National Library of Greece and the National Library of China
- a Letter of Intention between the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Beijing Capital Museum on hosting the exhibition “The Greeks: From Agamemnon to Alexander the Great” in Beijing, in 2018,
- a Memorandum of Understanding between the Hellenic General Secretariat for Research and Technology (Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs) and the P.R.C. Ministry of Science and Technology on cooperation in the fields of Science, Technology and Innovation
Besides, the “Cultural Year of Greece in China” (September 2007 – August 2008), which coincided with the Beijing Olympic Games (August 2008) was a major cultural event. In addition, Greece was invited as Guest of Honour at the Beijing International Book Fair (2008), while China was the Guest of Honour at the Thessaloniki Book Fair (2010).
In 2014, a bilateral Agreement on Mutual Establishment of Cultural Centres in Greece and China was signed.
In the field of Education
- a Memorandum of Cooperation, aiming at further enlargement/expansion of educational relations, mainly in Higher Education, was signed in 2005
- a Protocol of Educational Cooperation, covering the period 2012-2015, was signed in 2012
Memoranda of Understanding have also been signed between Higher Education Institutions of the two countries, such as the University of the Peloponnese and Jiao Tong University, the Ionian University Library and the Shanghai Library, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Shanghai International Studies University, the Aristotle University and Fudan University.
In several Chinese Universities, ancient Greek Language, Greek History and Philosophy are being taught:
- Shanghai International Studies University – Department of Greek (established in 1972)
- Peking University – Centre for Hellenic Studies (established in 2001).
- Beijing Foreign Studies University – School of European Languages and Cultures - Greek Language
- Nankai University in Tianjin – Chair of Byzantine Studies (established in 1992) in History Department
The “Confucius” Institute was established in Athens (2008), under the aegis of Athens University of Economics and Business.
Since 1991, Chinese Language is among the courses of the Foreign Language Teaching Centre (“Didaskaleio”) of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.