China and Iran signed a joint statement on Saturday on cooperation in conservation of cultural heritage on Saturday, echoing a commitment to better take care of relics through cross-border efforts in Asia.
Through a livestreaming platform, Li Qun, director of the National Cultural Heritage Administration, signed the bilateral cooperation document for the Asian Initiative for Cultural Heritage Conservation with Mohammad Hassan Talebian, deputy Iranian minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts.
President Xi Jinping first proposed the Asian Initiative for Cultural Heritage Conservation in his keynote speech at the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilization in Beijing in May 2019.
Iran is the third country that has signed joint statements with China within the framework of the initiative. On May 11, China co-released such statements with Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is the first bilateral intergovernmental agreement specifically on cultural heritage between China and Iran in almost a decade.
According to the joint agreement, China and Iran will have a series of joint projects on archaeology, conservation of cultural heritage, management of UNESCO World Heritage sites, the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural property and expertise training among other fields.
Li said the joint statement marked Sino-Iranian cooperation on cultural heritage entering a new epoch, and is a milestone, and it will bring strong impetus to promote people-to-people connectivity, as well as communication and mutual learning echoing the Belt and Road Initiative.