President Xi Jinping has sent a congratulatory letter to the first Silk Road International Cultural Expo, which began in the northwestern city of Dunhuang Tuesday.
On behalf of himself, the government and the people of China, Xi congratulated the expo on its opening day and extended a warm welcome to all attendees.
Hailing the "glamorous Dunhuang culture," Xi said the host city was a major Silk Road hub where different cultures met.
Also, noting that the ancient trade route was an important bridge for friendly exchanges between the East and West more than 2,000 years ago, Xi said the Silk Road International Cultural Expo will provide an important platform for cooperation and communication among countries along the route.
Xi lauded coexistence, mutual learning, and cooperation and sharing in cultural fields.
He said efforts to promote cultural exchanges and common progress are important to driving society forward.
He called for more cultural exchanges, promotion of cultural equality, protection of cultural heritage and cultural innovation, and improvements to cultural cooperation to "let more people benefit from the rich and colorful culture created by humankind to make the world a better place."
Vice Premier Liu Yandong, who read out the letter at the opening, suggested a new mechanism for state-to-state cultural cooperation.
She called for deeper people-to-people exchanges, respect for different civilizations, enhanced protection of cultural heritage and boosts to cultural innovation so that people in various countries could benefit more from modern civilization.
Before the opening, Liu met with attendees from Nepal, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Morocco, France and Japan, urging them to continue to contribute to international cultural cooperation and exchanges, and the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative.
More than 1,500 representatives from 86 countries, as well as five international and regional organizations, are attending the expo.