JEDDAH: As part of Saudi-Chinese cultural cooperation, King Abdulaziz Public Library signed a memorandum of understanding and cooperation with the Bayt El-Hekma Chinese Group on Monday.
The MoU aims to enhance cooperation between Saudi Arabia and China in different cultural, knowledge, and language fields of interest to both sides. The agreement also includes exchanging translation and publication services between the two countries, exchanging cultural visits, holding scientific meetings and specialized exhibitions, and activating cultural commonalities through forums.
The memorandum also seeks to strengthen the existing partnership between Saudi Arabia and China, especially in fields connected with Saudi Vision 2030 and China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The BRI is Beijing’s massive infrastructure plan for a global network of railways, roads, ports, and other projects to connect China to the world, launched in 2013 by President Xi Jinping.
According to Dr. Bandar Al-Mubarak, KAPL’s director general, the agreement reflects his library’s interest in communicating and interacting with various local and international cultural and social platforms, institutions and associations. It also aims to take Saudi culture to the whole world.
“The cooperation with the Chinese side comes as part of the ongoing cooperation between the KAPL and Chinese culture since the library opened a branch at Peking University,” Al-Mubarak said.
He added that the branch receives the full care and support of both King Salman and Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman.
KAPL’s branch at Peking University houses 23,474 books, most of which were donated by Saudi Arabia.
Al-Mubarak added: “I hope that the cooperation will add to the distinguished cultural exchange between Saudi Arabia and China, especially given that the Arabic and Chinese civilizations are among the ancient civilizations that contributed to spreading science and knowledge around the world.”
Among KAPL’s possessions iss an archive of photographs, one of the rarest collections in the world, with a total of 5,564 single original images or albums taken since 1740. KAPL also possesses photographs taken by travelers, sea captains, military personnel, envoys, consuls, and politicians who visited the region from the middle of the last century until the beginning of this century.
Meanwhile, Bayt El-Hekma Group for Culture and Media owns Bayt El-Hekma for Educational Consultation, and has several branches in Beijing, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and more than 13 branches in China and abroad.
The group’s work is focused on culture, the internet, tourism, education, and investment sectors. It also makes cultural exchanges, translating and publishing books, producing movies, TV series, and animation.