China will take all-around measures to enhance cross-border cooperation in the culture and tourism industries during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period, an official of the Ministry of Culture & Tourism said at a news conference in Beijing on Wednesday.

Zhang Yongxin, Ministry’s Director of Policies & Regulations, said that “a system of cultural exchange and promotion of tourism that fits the needs of the new era” will be established within the next five years.

“A key part of the 14th Five-Year Plan relating to the development of culture and tourism calls for strengthening international cooperation in innovative ways,” Zhang said.

“By enhancing communication with different countries and international organizations, China will also participate in drafting international rules concerning culture and tourism,” he added.

Furthermore, cooperation with countries participating in the Belt & Road Initiative will be improved, as will the global distribution of China Cultural Centers.

In line with the five-year plan, alliances of theaters, museums, art festivals, libraries, and art galleries of Belt & Road Countries will play more important roles in strengthening bonds.

In addition, an international conference on the promotion of tourism in Asia will be hosted by China, and 20 “demonstration districts” that excel in global tourism cooperation will be established in China.

Zhang said other key aspects of work in the next five years will include exchanges among young people on the protection of intangible cultural heritage as well as the creative industry and volunteer services, and promotion via global platforms of China’s achievements in archaeological studies and stronger support for cultural programs through foreign aid.

Some projects are already underway, including measures to strengthen cultural heritage cooperation within Asia.

In May, China released joint statements with Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran on launching cooperation in the field. These echoed the Asian Initiative for Cultural Heritage Conservation, which was proposed by President Xi Jinping in his keynote speech at the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations in Beijing in 2019.

Cooperation will include joint projects in such areas as archaeology, conservation of cultural heritage, management of UNESCO World Heritage sites, the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural property, and specialized training.

The countries have also proposed establishing an Asian alliance for cultural heritage conservation.