SANTIAGO, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Representatives from Chile and China celebrated here Friday the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Chilean-Chinese Institute of Culture, highlighting the close ties between the two countries.
"Without a doubt, our economic and trade ties with China have progressed considerably," Chilean Senator Jose Antonio Gomez said at a ceremony.
"But there is nothing more important than making progress in the area of cultural ties, and we can expand on the work done for so many by the Chilean-Chinese Institute of Culture," he added.
Gomez, who is also head of the Radical Social Democratic Party, said expanding cultural ties by promoting greater knowledge of each other's cultures would improve and deepen bilateral ties in all areas.
President Militza Agusti of the institute highlighted the role his institute has played throughout the past six decades in strengthening ties between the two nations.
The institute "reflects the affection and admiration our people have for China," Agusti said, while pointing to a widely shared "desire to encourage cultural exchanges between the two peoples."
Chinese Ambassador Yang Wanming recalled that in 1952, when most Chileans knew little about China, several famous figures, including former President Salvador Allende, Nobel Prize winner Pablo Neruda and acupuncture expert Paz Venturelli, took the initiative to found the institute, thus building an important bridge for the two countries.
Thanks to the cultural exchanges and mutual understanding, Chinese-Chilean ties "are at a historic peak," Yang said.
The institute was founded on Oct. 1, 1952, on the third anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.