KIEV, June 2 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine and China have strengthened cultural cooperation in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, Ukrainian Culture Minister Eugene Nishchuk told Xinhua.
"Recently, there has been a significant intensification of Ukrainian-Chinese cultural ties," he said in a recent interview on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Nishchuk, who headed the Ukrainian delegation to the first Silk Road International Cultural Expo in China's northwestern city of Dunhuang last September, said Ukraine is proud to be part of the Belt and Road Initiative, as it was on the path of the ancient Silk Road.
"According to historical and archival data, the Silk Road passed through the territory of Ukraine," Nishchuk said, noting that it is vividly demonstrated by the similar features in Chinese and Ukrainian cultural and household items.
"When I visited the exhibition of pottery in China, I saw the ornamentation of our Trypillian culture on some items. I showed our pots to Chinese artists and they said 'they are so similar to each other!' I believe it is not accidental," he said.
In recent months, China and Ukraine have seen frequent cultural exchanges, ranging from joint concerts and art exhibitions to plans on joint film production, the minister noted.
"We have discussed such plans with a number of Chinese companies. They have visited our film-making studios to explore our picture-making process. Formerly, we had such joint practice and we are in talks about its resumption," Nishchuk said.
Among other cornerstones of bilateral cultural cooperation, he named the publication of a landmark Ukrainian book "Kobzar" in Chinese, exhibitions of Chinese artists in Ukrainian museums and tours of Ukrainian theaters and folk ensembles across China.
"Chinese people attach great importance to Ukrainian music, ballet, as well as traditional culture -- dances, folk culture, costumes, because they are proud of their ancient culture and value other cultures with intellectual depth," Nishchuk said.
He said more and more Ukrainians also became interested in Chinese cultural heritage and are willing to better understand it.
"Many people are frequently asking us to assist them in organizing Chinese cultural exhibitions and exchanges. And, of course, we are very open on this issue. This is the way to good cooperation," the minister said.
What is also important in recent time, cultural exchanges are carried out not only under the government supervision, but also at the local level.
"There is wide cooperation at the cross-sectoral and inter-institutional levels," he said.
For example, Ukraine's National Museum of World War II is constantly in contact with the Museum of the War of Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression in Beijing and the Museum of Pingjin Battle in China's northern city of Tianjin, Nishchuk said.
"Also, Kiev Art Museum is starting cooperation with the Chinese partner," he added.
Chinese and Ukrainian people can learn a lot from each other by discovering more about their cultural features and culture can play a vital role in promoting relations between the two states, said the minister.
"It seems to me that culture provides a great boost for our good relations. Culture is the instrument that promotes mutual trust, rapprochement, and respect for each other," the minister said.