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50 years of German-Chinese relations

INTERKULTUR President Günter Titsch invited as expert for cultural exchange

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On October 11, 1972, the then Foreign Ministers Walter Scheel and Jie Pengfei signed the communiqué on the initiation of diplomatic relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the People's Republic of China. To celebrate this anniversary INTERKULTUR President Günter Titsch, as an expert in German-Chinese cultural exchange, was invited as guest of honor.

Already since the beginning of the 2000s, INTERKULTUR President Günter Titsch has maintained close ties with China in the cultural exchange between the choral scenes. With the idea of the Olympic Games of choral music, the World Choir Games, he already brought tens of thousands of singers from all over the world to Xiamen in 2006 and again to Shaoxing four years later. Alongside the competitions and educational opportunities in choral work, however, President Titsch's main focus has always been on lasting connections with people and the exchange of nations and cultures. In 2009, he was one of the first Europeans to be made an honorary citizen of the southern Chinese port metropolis of Xiamen, a title that is highly respected in China.

The efforts of INTERKULTUR's German-Chinese relations have been actively supported from the beginning by former German President and INTERKULTUR Honorary President Walter Scheel, who as then Foreign Minister laid the foundation for diplomatic relations between the two nations with his signature on October 11, 1972. In commemoration of this anniversary, President Titsch as well as First Vice President Wang Qin were honored to attend the ceremonies in Berlin, Frankfurt and Freiburg at the invitation of the Chinese Embassy in Berlin, the Consulate General in Frankfurt am Main and the German-Chinese Society. These meetings provided opportunities for direct dialogue with high-ranking politicians, diplomats and representatives of the embassies.

In his greeting during the festive concert in Freiburg, Günter Titsch emphasized the importance of cultural exchange between China and Germany. "INTERKULTUR has been working for more than 30 years to bring people and nations together in peaceful competition and especially with the People's Republic we have maintained exemplary relations in cultural exchange for many years. However, it is not only about events, competitions and educational programs, but that friendship is promoted and peaceful coexistence is improved. It is the duty of all of us to work to improve understanding between nations and thereby restore peace."

In his greeting, Consul General Sun Congbin emphasized the importance of culture and especially music in the understanding between nations. China and Germany, he said, are capable of "mutually appreciating each other's merits and creating harmonious coexistence, despite differences that actually exist in terms of political system, history, culture and society. You just have to willingly put aside differences and look for common ground."

This point was also emphasized by former German Minister and Chairman of the German-Chinese Parliamentary Group Dr. Hans-Peter Friedrich. "People in Europe and people in China need to get closer personally. This is an important goal," Friedrich said in an on-site interview. "It's crucial to see that people no matter what country and no matter what culture, have so much in common, which is especially expressed in art and culture." More talks between Friedrich and Titsch will follow to advance work toward this common goal. Titsch's expertise in cultural exchange is of great importance right now, he said, as he has first-hand knowledge of the major, pandemic-related challenges facing the cultural scene and cultural professionals worldwide.

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