First Chinese Library opens in Mexico to promote cultural exchange

Updated 2017-04-25 11:01:22 Xinhua

The first China-themed library in Mexico was inaugurated on Monday in a bid to promote cultural exchange.

Books on Chinese history, art, culture, traditional medicine and music, among other topics, as well as digital and video archives, can be found at the new Chinese Library at Mexico City's Anahuac University.

Officials from China and the prestigious private university were on hand to inaugurate the 14th library of its kind worldwide, as part of celebrations marking 45 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The Chinese Library serves as "a window that will allow Mexico's different social circles to better know our country, and it will also be a new platform for deepening educational, academic and cultural exchange," Cui Yuying, deputy director of China's State Council Information Office, told those gathered.

Cui said she hoped China and Mexico "can work together and continuously invest in the construction, administration and use of the Chinese Library, with the goal of turning it into a true cultural bridge that connects the two countries and a window that fosters bilateral friendship."

The library boasts 6,000 books and 80,000 digital archives with information on China's politics, economy, culture, science and technology, education and history.

The 120-square-meter facility is equipped with large-screen monitors for viewing some 100 hours of video and virtual reality featuring China's different regions, their ethnic groups, and lifestyls.

Students of Chinese will find special software, in both Spanish and English, for learning Mandarin.

Cipriano Sanchez Garcia, rector of Anahuac University, said the library was made possible thanks to an initiative between China's State Council and the center for higher learning.

"This collaboration proves we human beings have the potential to approach one another, to learn from one another, to build bridges and to weave networks of cultural understanding," said Sanchez.

In a moving ceremony, a group of young students enrolled in the university's Chinese-language program sang a song they were taught by professor Li Yueyin, from Anahuac's school of languages.

The two countries share key traits, said Cui.

"China and Mexico are civilizations and countries with a very rich cultural heritage, both are world renowned for their uniqueness, and both have remained strong through constant innovation. Throughout history, we have seen how both civilizations have progressed and learned from one another," said Cui.

The library is bound to draw many visitors, professor Li told Xinhua, as "there is much interest" in China's past and present.

The project, she said, would not have been possible without the support of the State Council, which "helped immensely to make the library, which is full of knowledge and full of love, a reality."

More material is set to arrive at the library to "make classes more interactive," said Li.

Since 2012, Chinese Libraries have opened in Japan, Tanzania, Congo, Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Australia, Belgium, Myanmar, Laos, Indonesia, Russia, Peru and Turkey.

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