On 9 April 2021, the 2021 Culture City of East Asia•China Dunhuang Year of Activity was opened in Dunhuang, Gansu Province. Mr. Zhang Xu, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China, Ms. He Wei, Vice Governor of Gansu Province, Mr. Shimizu Fumio, Minister of the Embassy of Japan in China, Mr. Kim Byungkwun, Consul General of the ROK in Xi’an, Mr. Som Visal, Consul General of Cambodia in Xi’an,Mr. Kim Jingon, Minister-Counselor of the Embassy of the ROK in China and Director of the Korean Cultural Centre inChina, Mr. Qi Jianbang, Deputy Secretary-General of Gansu Provincial Government, Mr.Chen Weizhong, Director-General of the Culture and Tourism Department of Gansu Province, Mr. Ma Cong, Deputy Director-General of the Foreign Affairs Office of Gansu Province, Mr. Wang Liqi, Vice Secretary of the MunicipalCommittee of the Communist Party of China(CPC) and Mayor of Jiuquan City, Mr. Zhao Shengliang, President of Dunhuang Academy, Mr. Chen Yanren, Secretary of CPC Jiuquan Municipal Committee and Secretary of CPC Dunhuang Municipal Committee attendedthe opening ceremony. Mr. Chen Dehai, Secretary-General of the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) attended the event and launched the 2021 Culture City of East Asia•China Dunhuang Year of Activity with the above-mentioned guests.
At the opening ceremony, Vice Minister Zhang Xu awarded Dunhuang City the commemorative plaque of "Culture City of East Asia". Representatives of Culture Cities of East Asia and experts from China, Japan and the ROK sent video messages and congratulatory letters online. The guests enjoyed the documentary "Dialogue between Mogao Grottoes and Angkor Wat" and the "The Charm of Dunhuang" performances. More than 500 participantsattended the activities, including representatives from Culture Cities of East Asia in China, officials from culture and tourism departments of relevant provinces, experts and scholars, and representatives from cultural and tourism sectors .
On 8 April, Ms. He Wei, Vice Governor of Gansu Province met with ACC Secretary-General Chen Dehai and Mr. Som Visal, Consul General of Cambodia in Xi’an. The two sides exchanged views on strengthening ties between Culture Cities of East Asia and the ASEAN Cities of Culture, and promoting people-to-people exchanges and practical cooperation between Gansu Province and ASEAN Member States (AMS). During his stay in Dunhuang, Secretary-General Chen Dehai visited the themed cultural and creative exhibition of "Tide of Dunhuang", the calligraphy and painting exhibition of "Infatuation with Dunhuang", the Dunhuang exhibition of digital achievements "Beautiful City on the Silk Road", and attended the Dunhuang Culture and Tourism Night and other activities with invited guests.
Since 2010, ASEAN designates the venueof the biennial meeting of ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts as the ASEAN City of Culture. China, Japan and the ROK launched the project of Culture City of East Asia since 2013. Shaoxing and Dunhuang of China, Kitakyushu of Japan, and Suncheon of the ROK were jointly awarded the Culture Cities of East Asia for the year of 2021. In October 2019, the Network of ASEAN Plus Three Culture Cities, created on the basis of the Culture City of East Asia and the ASEAN City of Culture, was officially launched.