A boatman rows a boat on a small canal in Dongpu town, Shaoxing, East China's Zhejiang province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Shaoxing in East China's Zhejiang province was named a Culture City of East Asia at the 12th China-Japan-South Korea Cultural Ministers' Meeting held in Japan on Dec 20.
The East Asia City of Culture program was first proposed by the cultural ministers of China, Japan, and South Korea at the third ministerial conference in Nara, Japan in January 2011.
Since the program's initial launch in 2013, 21 cities in the three countries have been designated as Culture Cities of East Asia.
Local authorities said the title is a great honor for residents of the ancient city, and Shaoxing will live up to the honor by seeking more cultural and economic exchange with its 14 sister cities in Japan and South Korea.
Statistics from the municipal commerce bureau showed that as of March, the city is home to 290 Japanese enterprises and 326 South Korean enterprises, surpassing even Shanghai in that regard.
Zhang Xu, Chinese vice-minister of Culture and Tourism, said the program plays a significant role in maintaining peace and stability in East Asia as well as the social development of modern cities.
Chen Junjie, counselor at the Department of Asian Affairs of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the Culture City of East Asia program is an important platform for cultural communication between China, Japan and South Korea.