Chinese culture and heritage is an integral part of global culture, said Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development. She went on to note that cultural ties between the UAE and China witnessing significant growth, in light of strategic partnership initiatives between the two countries. In an interview with the Emirates News Agency, WAM, Al Kaabi said that the visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to China, as head of a high-level UAE delegation, has reinforced both countries’ cooperation and boosted their strategic partnerships. Regarding the launch of joint annual initiatives that aims to promote the cultures of the UAE and China, Al Kaabi noted that H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, signed a cultural exchange agreement last year, on the sidelines of the visit of Xi Jinping, President of China, to the UAE, as well as the launch of "UAE-Chinese Week" last year by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, which has helped to link the two cultures and celebrated human histories. She then highlighted how the UAE and China are developing their strategic partnership in the area of culture, by agreeing, last year, to encourage overall cultural communication, as well as by establishing joint cultural projects, participating in mutual cultural events, hosting talks on soft power and cultural policies, and reinforcing their cooperation in cultural industries and the preservation of heritages. Al Kaabi stressed that the ministry and several government cultural authorities are participating in the Asian Civilisations Exhibition 2019, held under the patronage of President Xi, which began on 10th May and will end on 20th August, 2019, in Beijing. She added that the 'Hala China' initiative was established last year in the UAE to reinforce commercial and cultural ties between the two countries and launch cultural and heritage events. "We believe that economic integration between the two countries cannot be achieved without prioritising culture, which is one of the elements of sustainable development and a tool for establishing a joint vision and a new era of economic, social and cultural exchanges with China," said Noura Al Kaabi. Regarding the launch of the Sheikh Zayed Centre in Beijing, which aims to improve the ties between Arab and Chinese cultures, Al Kaabi said that the idea of the centre’s establishment was due to the belief of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in the importance of reinforcing the UAE’s ties with other cultures and learning other languages, noting that the centre is playing a key role in promoting Arab and Islamic culture and teaching the Arabic language. The mutual visits between the leaders of the two countries have crowned the progress of their bilateral ties and begun a new era of cultural cooperation, she explained.