June 13, 2018

The Netherlands and China renewed agreement on cultural cooperation

The two countries will continue deepening cultural cooperation and exchanges as well as sharing knowledge, information and professional expertise.

Mr. Yu Qun, Member of the Ministry’s Leadership, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, P. R. China and Ms. Marjan Hammersma, Secretary General, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands exchanged the documents after signing.

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (hereafter referred to as ‘the Memorandum’) on 8th June 2018 in The Hague. This Memorandum will remain in effect until 31 December 2021.

Culture is a crucial reflection of the societies. Cultural cooperation allows us to learn from one another and gain a deeper mutual understanding. By enhancing mutual understanding, cultural cooperation can also foster economic and political cooperation. 

The deepening of cultural relations between the Netherlands and China has taken place over decades. In recent years, there has been a remarkable increase and intensification in Sino-Dutch cultural exchanges thanks to the Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Cooperation for 2014-2017, exemplified by fruitful activities such as the annual Dutch museum management training program in Beijing, the film coproduction treaty (signed in 2015), the traveling exhibition in China The Future of Fashion is Now (2015-2016). China is also a focus country defined by the current Dutch international cultural policy (2017-2022).

Considering the need to further develop and foster the cultural relations and cooperation between the Netherlands and China, with the new Memorandum as a framework document, the two Ministries will continue to actively encourage cultural cooperation, exchanges and activities in both countries, including the sharing of knowledge, information and professional expertise.

In line with the Dutch multi-year strategic plan on culture for China, the Memorandum highlights museum cooperation; radio, film and television; and creative industries as three priority areas, but also recognising other areas of importance, such as literature and publishing, performing arts, visual arts and digital media, cultural Heritage, and young talent development. Direct collaboration will be encouraged between artists, cultural organisations and institutions with the aim of cooperating on and presenting cultural activities in both countries.

Since more and more Dutch artists and designers work in or with China, DutchCulture organizes China Now! in Pakhuis de Zwijger (Amsterdam) on June 14th. Documentary maker and photographer Ruben Terlou (Langs de Oevers van de Yangtze, 2016, Door het Hart van China, 2018) meets with other artists and cultural professionals. Together with the audience, they reflect on Sino-Dutch cultural exchanges from a broader social perspective and address topics like youth and education, tradition and innovation.