The cultural cooperation is one of the main areas of cooperation between Ukraine and the People's Republic of China which is aimed at developing and implementing art projects, educational and informative events and other forms of exchanges between the two countries.
The Agreement between the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Cultural Cooperation dated on 31 October, 1992 builds a legal basis of bilateral cooperation in the cultural sector.
In 2002, the First meeting of the Joint Ukraine-China Commission on Cultural Cooperation was held, followed by the second meeting in 2009. In April 2011, Commission was transformed into a Sub-commission on Cultural Cooperation within the framework of the Ukraine-China Intergovernmental Commission on Cooperation. The Sub-commission remains the main interstate mechanism for regulation, monitoring and control in cultural cooperation; its latest meeting was held in December 2020.
In 2017, the Sub-commission signed the Program of Cultural Cooperation between the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine and the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China for 2018-2022. As a part of that Program, the Days of Ukrainian Culture were successfully held in China in autumn 2018.
The Days started with the grand opening ceremony of the Exhibition of Cultural Relics, Decorative and Applied Arts of Ukraine in Gugong (The Forbidden City Palace Museum), the most prestigious architectural and art museum complex in China. Minister of Culture of Ukraine Mr. Yevhen Nyshchuk and Minister of Culture and Tourism of the People's Republic of China Mr. Luo Shugang together opened the Days of Ukrainian Culture in China. The program of the Days of Ukrainian Culture included some performances of the Veryovka National Honored Academic Folk Choir of Ukraine, an exhibition featuring the works of the famous Ukrainian photographer Volodymyr Kozyuk, the Petrykivka art painting master classes. Moreover, during the Days of Ukrainian Culture in China the Ukrainian delegation participated in the Silk Road International Cultural EXPO (Dunhuang, 27-28 September, 2018) where Ukraine was introduced as an honor guest. The reports about the Days of Ukrainian Culture in the largest Chinese central TV channels, printed and electronic media, social networks demonstrated the great interest of the Chinese people in the Ukrainian culture, art, traditions, history and tourism.
During 2018-2021, together with its partners, the Embassy of Ukraine in China held a number of cultural, artistic and educational events, among which the most remarkable are:
Tours of Ukrainian theatrical and musical groups have already become traditional in China, especially tours of the ballet troupe of the Taras Shevchenko National Opera of Ukraine, the National Honored Academic Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, the Kyiv Young Ballet Theater, “Mimirichi” Plastic Comedy Theater, the Kharkiv Children's Ballet Theater etc.
The literature sector is an important area of activity. The Embassy organized the presentations of some publications, such as:
Since Ukraine’s independence, dozens of books on Ukrainian history, politics, economics and culture have been published in China. Among them are the translations of “The History of Ukraine” by Western scholar Paul Kubicek (China Publishing Group, China Encyclopedia Publishing House, 2009), “Gates of Europe” by Serhii Plohiy (CITIC Press Group Publishing House, 2018); the books “Ukraine: Difficult Historical Paths” (East China Normal University Press, 2005); “Shevchenko Poetry Anthology” translated by Ge Baoquan (People's Literature Publishing House, 2016), “Ukraine: Janus in Smoke” by Wen Yi (CITIC Press Group Publishing House, 2016) etc. In addition, in 2013, the New Ukrainian-Chinese Dictionary (Commercial Publishing House) was published with the book editor Huang Yuezhao; that Dictionary new edition became significantly larger than its edition in 1990. In 2018, “Ukrainian-English-Chinese Illustrated Dictionary” was jointly published by the German PONS GmbH Publishing House and Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.
Of special importance of the Embassy is the cooperation between Ukrainian and Chinese book publishers, the participation of Chinese delegations in publishing exhibitions in Ukraine and vice versa. Thus, for the first time, the Ukrainian publishing houses “Osnovy Publishing” and “Shafran Book” became the exhibitors of the Beijing International Book Fair in August 2020.
One of the most notable trends in cultural cooperation between Ukraine and China is the China’s growing interest in Ukrainian film and television production. Since 2017, Ukrainian film companies have been participating in the BJIFF Film Market representing the Ukrainian national stand as well as the special event - "Ukraine is Your Destination" in order to promote Ukraine as a great partner offering healthy film production climate, unique locations and modern films for distribution.
In September 2021, the First Lady of Ukraine Mrs. Olena Zelenska participated in the online opening ceremony of the 11th Beijing International Film Festival and delivered a welcome speech as its Honorary Guest. The First Lady also opened the “Ukrainian Film Week” with the outstanding Ukrainian poetic films (“The Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” (1964, Serhii Paradjanov), “The Stone Cross” (1968, Leonid Osyka), “The White Bird Marked with Black” (1971, Yuri Illienko) and “The Eve of Ivan Kupalo” (1968, Yuri Illienko) which were screened within the 11th BJIFF Film Panorama in the popular Beijing cinemas on 22-30 September, 2021. It was for the first time in the history of diplomatic relations between two countries that the Ukrainian classical films festival took place in China.
Considering the huge potential for the film industries of each country to work together on account of shared or complementary characteristics, the Ukrainian and Chinese governments discuss signing of the Agreement on Film Co-production aimed at encouraging the production of films that reflect, enhance and convey the diversity of culture and heritage in both countries.
The Embassy closely cooperates with the Ukrainian nationals living in China. With their support and participation, the Embassy annually organizes a number of events marking significant dates and events in the Ukrainian history in order to preserve national identity and to promote Ukrainian culture in China. To such traditional annual events belong “The Days of Shevchenko” when the Ukrainians in Beijing come together to lay flowers to the monument of Taras Shevchenko created by famous Chinese artist Yuan Xikun in memory of the Ukrainian great poet and installed in the Beijing Chaoyang Park in August 2011.