Tehran, Beijing ink joint statement to protect Asian cultural heritage

May 24, 2021 - 12:1

TEHRAN - Iran and China on Saturday signed a joint statement which is expected to pave the way for further protection in the arena of Asian cultural heritage. 

The statement was signed in an online conference by Iranian deputy tourism minister Mohammad-Hassan Talebian, and Chinese director of the National Cultural Heritage Administration Li Qun, Mehr reported.

Based on the declaration which is in line with the Asian Initiative for Cultural Heritage Conservation, the two nations will join hands in projects of archaeology, and conservation of cultural heritage. 

Furthermore, Tehran and Beijing seek to reinforce collaboration to safeguard the UNESCO World Heritage sites and to fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural relics. 

Speaking at the event, Talebian said that the relationship between Iran and China has been stable due to their common historical and cultural background, and both countries have supported each other in maintaining national dignity and securing their development paths. 

The plan to protect the cultural heritage of Asia could increase the confidence and unity of Asian countries in introducing and protecting their valuable cultural heritage, he added. 

It could eventually lead to the prosperity and development of the tourism industry in Asian countries, he concluded. 

For his part, Qun said that the statement emphasizes cultural transmission and supports Asia’s cultural heritage as the cradle of human civilization. 

Cultural elements are valuable treasures of the Asian people, which establish their identity, he added. 

He also noted that the joint statement is the first bilateral document signed by the cultural heritage authorities of the two countries in the past decade, marking that the two countries’ cultural heritage cooperation has entered a new stage of development.

Iran is the third country that has signed a joint statement with China on the Asian Initiative for Cultural Heritage Conservation. Earlier this month, China co-released such statements with Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

In 2019, the Iranian government waived the visa requirement for Chinese nationals willing to visit the country. The decision was made to attract more foreign tourists to the country; however, it is a unilateral measure, i.e. Iranian tourists visiting China still need visas. 

ABU/AFM 
 

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