By Zhu Linyong
The event drew about 200 attendees, including Li Jinzao, vice minister of China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism, representatives of the Culture Cities of East Asia from China, Japan and Republic of Korea, and cultural officials of the ASEAN Cities of Culture from ASEAN countries, officials from the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat and the ASEAN China Center, as well as diplomats from these countries' embassies in China.
"Developing a Network of ASEAN Plus Three Culture Cities is an important part of the 21st ASEAN plus China, Japan and ROK Summit in cultural exchanges. It is a further step to strengthen exchange and cooperation among culture cities in China, Japan, South Korea and ASEAN countries," said Vice Minister Li Jinzao.
"It is also a crucial measure to help tap into the potential for long-term partnerships between China, Japan, South Korea and the ASEAN countries, and to promote regional cooperation in cultural fields."
Li hoped that the Culture Cities of East Asia and the ASEAN Cities of Culture will take this opportunity to work out more sustainable and fruitful exchanges and cooperation.
Representatives of the Culture Cities of East Asia and the ASEAN Cities of Culture all spoke highly of the establishment of the Network of ASEAN Plus China, Japan and ROK Culture Cities.
They hoped that through the newly-launched platform, exchanges and dialogues will increase and cooperation will be strengthened among these countries.
The ASEAN Plus China, Japan and ROK Culture Cities Network is one of the ensuing moves to implement proposals made by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the 21st ASEAN Plus China, Japan and ROK Summit.
It is widely believed that network's launch is a critical move to enhance the branding of the Culture Cities of East Asia and to round out the Alliance of the East Asian Cultural Cities.
The launching ceremony coincided with the Mayors' Forum of the Culture Cities from China, Japan, South Korea and ASEAN countries, which concluded with the announcement of the ASEAN Plus China, Japan and ROK Culture Cities Yangzhou Initiative.