The event in Dunhuang, Gansu Province on September 20, 2017, was attended by delegates from 51 countries.
The Second Silk Road International Cultural Expo held on September 20, 2017 in Dunhuang, Gansu Province in northwestern China on the theme, "Promoting cultural exchange and cooperation, creating a better future." Some 124 delegates from 51 countries and three international and regional organizations took part in the one-day fair, showcasing their outstanding cultural achievements and discussing exchange and cooperation plans.
Speaking at the opening, the Chinese Minister of Culture, Luo Shugang, said the first edition last September recorded a number of achievements. These include coming out with the Dunhuang Declaration, reaching consensus on cultural exchanges and cooperation, signing cooperation framework agreements, while economic and trade activities were carried out.
'Two thousand years ago, our ancestors blazed the trails, sailed across the ocean and finally opened up the Silk Road spanning Asia and Europe connecting land and sea. Its profound historical and cultural connotations not only provide nourishment for the Chinese civilization, but also inject vitality into rich and diverse world civilizations," Luo Shugang recalled.
Cui Yuying, Deputy Head of the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Vice Minister of the State Council Information Office, recalled that Dunhuang was once the intersection of the world's four major civilisations. "Over the past year, countries and regions along the Silk Road have strengthened exchanges and cooperation in areas such as culture, education, science and technology, health, tourism, media and sports, and achieving positive results," Cui Yuying said.
According to Assoumana Malam Issa, Minister of Cultural Revival, Art and Social Modernisation of Niger, the historical symbolic significance of the Silk Road is a lesson for today's generation. He expressed regret at the massive destruction a few years ago of important cultural heritage, especially in Timbuktu and Gao in Mali by jihadists. "Culture is the beginning and the end of everything," the Niger minister explained. He added that cultural renaissance was retained as the major policy of the government's Economic and Social Development Plan II 2017-2021.