Under the joint patronage of Federal President Horst Köhler and Chinese President Hu Jintao, a programme of events entitled "Germany and China – Moving Ahead Together" is to tour six Chinese provinces and their capitals from 2007 to 2010. The goal is to enhance Germany's image as an innovative, forward-looking country. In addition, cooperation between the two countries in the fields of business, culture and science is to intensified.
The programme got off to a successful start in Nanjing last October, where it attracted some 200,000 visitors. It now moves to the city of Chongqing in south-western China. From 9 to 17 May 2008, the Federal Foreign Office, the Goethe-Institut, the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA) and the "Germany – Land of Ideas" initiative will bring an unusual blend of art, culture, science and technological advances to Dali Tang Square in the city centre, with a focus on the themes of sustainable urban development and education. The programme is financed by the Federal Foreign Office, sponsors and business partners. It is coordinated by the Goethe-Institut.
With 32 million inhabitants (urban and surrounding area), Chongqing is considered the biggest city in the world. It is still growing rapidly, and will have to solve a number of ecological and transport problems. German companies such as BASF, Siemens, DHL, Allianz, Daimler and Deutsche Bank will therefore present their latest ideas and projects from the spheres of environmental protection, energy and transport in specially constructed pavilions on the "Germany Esplanade". Numerous workshops, exhibitions and lectures on sustainable urban development will also be held. As part of the focus on education, German universities and vocational training establishments will advertise their courses and research opportunities.
The cultural highlight will be a German-Chinese music festival with the participation of more than 200 artists from the two countries. These will include notable German musicians such as the hip hop group Deichkind, German electro-punk bands such as Mia, as well as Fools Garden (famous for their hit "Lemon Tree"), and Corvus Corax, with their modern interpretations of mediaeval minstrel music. The programme will be rounded off with performances of German theatre classics such as "The Caucasian Chalk Circle" in its original form as a Sichuan opera, a concert by the Chongqing Symphony Orchestra with soloists from Düsseldorf, as well as numerous German-Chinese readings, films and debates on contemporary art and modern dance.
The programme of events will continue to tour China until 2010. The third and next station will be Guangzhou in the south of the country this autumn. The final stop will be the World Exposition in Shanghai.
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