On 21 January 2021, SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov met with President and Secretary of the Party Committee of the Chinese Academy of Arts Han Ziyong to discuss various aspects of cultural and humanitarian cooperation this year.
At the beginning of the conversation, the SCO Secretary-General wished all the best to Han Ziyong and the entire staff of the Academy on the remarkable 70th anniversary of its foundation and noted that, despite the difficult period of the initial formation of the new people's power in China after the PRC was established in 1949, the post-war devastation and the reconstruction afterwards, its leaders realised the importance of culture and art for awakening people's interest in building a new society based on equality and justice.
"All these years, your Academy has been at the forefront of fighting for people's minds and hearts, and has done a great job in educating them, carefully preserving and increasing the extremely rich cultural and historical heritage of the Chinese people accumulated over the millennia of its history," Vladimir Norov stressed.
He also noted that this year will mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party, the country's leading and guiding force that has come a long and difficult way and has led China to tremendous success in the political, economic, cultural and social spheres. That success had been vividly confirmed by the wide celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the PRC in October 2019.
The SCO Secretary-General said the organisation, created in 2001, is also celebrating a major anniversary this year, and has become an important platform for successful multifaceted cooperation and interaction between the member states. In this regard, he emphasised that the SCO member states value in particular their political, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation.
The SCO countries are successfully implementing their national programmes and strategies aimed at improving the socioeconomic situation, raising the standard of living and quality of life, ensuring favourable conditions for every person's life, and harmonious spiritual and physical development of the individual.
Vladimir Norov believes that there are good prospects for joint work with the Chinese Academy of Arts, based on the available solid legal framework for cooperation between the SCO member states and effective mechanisms of interaction already formed.
He assured Han Ziyong of the SCO Secretariat's readiness to collaborate with the Academy in planning joint events, programmes and projects in the field of culture and art, not only this year, but also for the medium and long term.
President Han Ziyong expressed gratitude for the opportunity to meet at the beginning of the year and said that the Academy, as a government agency reporting to the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism is equally active in art research, art education and art creation. It includes the Academy of Traditional Chinese Opera, the China Music Research Institute and the China National Academy of Fine Arts.
He said the Academy currently employs about 800 people, including 621 chief researchers, with 294 senior specialists, more than 70 PhDs and almost 200 qualified master teachers. Over the past 60 years, the Chinese Academy of Arts has brought together a vast number of renowned scholars who have achieved outstanding accomplishments in various fields.
Han Ziyong added that the China National Academy of Fine Arts has the only independent graduate school of art in the country, with eight doctoral level and nine PhD programmes in art, music and the visual arts, as well as post-doctoral arts programmes.
Han Ziyong gave an assurance that his colleagues would coordinate their cooperation proposals with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and other state agencies, would draft specific proposals for cultural events including the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the SCO, and submit them to the SCO Secretariat.
The meeting took place in a friendly atmosphere.