Interview: Bahraini official highlights cultural bonds with China


MANAMA, May 29 (Xinhua) -- The president of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA) has hailed the growing ties and cultural exchanges between Bahrain and China.

Ahead of the 10th Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, scheduled to be held in Beijing on Thursday, BACA's President Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa underlined the importance of culture in facilitating the exchanges between the two countries.

"Bahrain and China have always had a strong cultural cooperation whether related to heritage, joint programs and festivals," he said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

"Culture can serve as an important bridge to connect two different countries, and play a role of soft power," he noted.

"Another key aspect is the Maritime Silk Road which is an important cultural trail that connects Asia to the rest of the world and promotes commerce and cultural exchanges," he said.

"Historically, Bahrain has been an important entry port and famous for its archaeological sites, with many artifacts originating from China discovered here."

"The National Museum in Bahrain has a collection of rare artifacts, art, manuscripts and other items that showcase the rich history of Bahrain. Artifacts of different civilizations are stored in the museum, which is the repository of 6000 years of Bahrain's history," he added.

Shaikh Khalifa said both China and Bahrain are committed to the protection of cultural heritage, and have cooperated closely within the framework of international organizations and platforms, including the World Heritage Convention and the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

"Another key area we would like to explore is to provide access to Chinese researchers keen to explore this part of the world, understand the Bahrain heritage, and historical linkages between the two civilizations."

Speaking about the visit of Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and other leaders of Gulf countries to China to attend the opening ceremony of the Ministerial Conference, Shaikh Khalifa says the visit is "a testament to our evolving partnership with China across various sectors."

"We are proud of our cultural cooperation and progress over the years," he noted.

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