Welsh culture will take centre stage in China over St.David’s Day as the Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage, Huw Lewis starts a six day visit to the country.
During his visit – which will take in Beijing and Chongqing - the Minister will officially open the Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales: Wales, Land of the Red Dragon exhibition in the China Three Gorges Museum in Chongqing.
The four month exhibition, which will tell the story of Wales from the age of Roman occupation through to its part in the evolution of the modern world, will mark the start of Wales Week in Chongqing.
Speaking before he left for China the Minister said:
“Our extensive and active relationship with Chongqing is very much valued within Wales, and this exciting exhibition is the latest chapter in that story."
" It will form one part of a week of events celebrating what Wales has to offer – not just our ancient culture but also a modern, dynamic nation. Culture helps break down barriers and develop mutual understanding between nations.
“ Our relationship with China will be important to the future of Wales and I’m delighted to be visiting the country in order to build on our business, cultural and education links.
“ Only by promoting ourselves abroad can we look for opportunities to grow our economy and academic sector and this visit will build on the relationships already developed with Chongqing and Beijing and reinforce our commitments to these links.”
In addition to officially opening the exhibition at the Three Gorges Museum the Minister will be meeting the Mayor of Beijing to reinforce the Government-to-Government relationships that have already been established between both countries.
The Minister will host a St David’s Day reception in Beijing for business, cultural and educational contacts, as well as members of the Beijing St David’s Society.
During his visit to China the Minister will also take in a visit to a social housing project in Chongqing. The Min Xin Jia Yuan complex is considered the city’s flagship development, providing affordable rental housing for poorer residents moving into the city from the outlying countryside districts.
The Minister’s visit to China will also coincide with a multi-sector trade mission to China that will include 11 companies from Wales.
The Wales, Land of the Red Dragon exhibition is part of the relationship between Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and the China Three Gorges Museum which was initiated by an agreement signed by both museums in 2008.