Thursday, February 24, 2011

China and EU start into Year of Youth

Today was the official launch of the EU-China Year of Youth in Beijing. 40 days after the European launch event in Brussels, 200 young people from China and the EU met in Beijing to kick off what will hopefully be a year of fruitful exchanges. They discussed potential EU-China cooperation projects, ranging from environmental protection to world heritage and intellectual property.

The cooperation is managed by the European Youth Forum (YFJ) on the European and the All-China Youth Federation (ACYF) on the Chinese side. Both have launched websites on the year of exchanges (China, EU) and an array of events and conferences is being planned in the EU and in China.

On the European side, the French are the most active organizers. They are trying to export the French language to China via a blogging competition (offline!) and a film festival for young Chinese. Second are the Germans with events on sport and social development.

But before you believe that the EU is relegated to being a spectator in culture, there are also some political EU-China Youth Events. Tomorrow marks the beginning of a a China photo exhibition in the European capital (I will try to cover it), other events include the European Youth Week or an EU-China Youth Culture Week. And also in China, some interesting things are taking place, such as the Shenzhen Universiade in August (college olympics).

Who knows, maybe we can even increase links between European and Chinese bloggers. China has a growing blogosphere (see English coverage here, here, here, here and here) and more conversation can certainly reduce a lot of cultural prejudices.

Launch video of the EU-China Year of Youth 2011

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