BEIJING, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Cultural exchanges between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong have developed well since Hong Kong returned to the motherland in 1997, Ding Wei, vice minister of culture, said Sunday.
Cultural exchanges between the mainland and Hong Kong have become more close, rich and sound, forming an all-dimensional, wide-ranging and multi-channel communication pattern, Ding said ahead of the region's 20th anniversary of return.
"The exchanges have promoted Chinese culture in Hong Kong and enhanced Hong kong's recognition of the country, the nation and Chinese culture," Ding said.
Since Hong Kong returned to the motherland, each year saw an average of 750 exchange programs with 10,000 people attending in the past few years, which double the number in the early years of Hong Kong's return, Ding said.
In 2005, the mainland and Hong Kong signed an agreement on closer cultural ties, mapping out the fields and channels of cultural cooperation, Ding said.
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, the two sides have strengthened cooperation in major culture activities, antiquities, cultural services and cultural industries.
Ding said Hong Kong should use its advantages, build more communication platforms, encourage non-governmental exchanges, and play a positive role in promoting connections among the peoples in the Belt and Road countries.
The Ministry of Culture will support Hong Kong in multilateral international cultural activities and China's international cultural activities, especially cultural communication and cooperation with countries along the Belt and Road, Ding said.