Grace Fu in China to boost cultural ties

Ms Grace Fu visiting the Dongsi Olympic Community Sports Centre in Beijing yesterday. It was one of several venues the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth visited on her trip to China to discuss areas for cultural cooperation.
Ms Grace Fu visiting the Dongsi Olympic Community Sports Centre in Beijing yesterday. It was one of several venues the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth visited on her trip to China to discuss areas for cultural cooperation.PHOTO: MINISTRY FOR CULTURE, COMMUNITY AND YOUTH

Minister visits Beijing 'community centre', art museum, attends concert by S'pore orchestra

Retiree Ma Xiurong, 58, is all smiles when she plays with her infant granddaughter, Zhou Linmo, at a "baby gym" in her local community centre in Dongsi, Beijing.

She takes Linmo, who is 11/2 years old, to the play area at the Dongsi Olympic Community Sports Culture Centre every day. The space has exercise mats and balls for children to play with, and also offers parents advice on how to care for their children.

"It's good for her mental development. The teachers are very good, and the children get to interact with each other," said Madam Ma.

The free "gym" is part of the Dongsi Olympic Community Sports Culture Centre, a venue for social, cultural and sports activities not unlike the community centres found in Singapore. Even on a weekday morning, the centre is buzzing with activity, with badminton sessions, classes on mental health, and dance practices.

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The five-storey centre in east Beijing opened in 2008, the year the city hosted the Summer Olympics. Its facilities range from table tennis and badminton courts to a library, e-book reading room, and a studio for physical activities such as dance.

The Dongsi Olympic Community Sports Culture Centre was one of several places Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu visited in Beijing yesterday as part of her trip to China to discuss areas for cultural cooperation. The trip, which began in Xi'an on Monday, ends today.

Yesterday, Ms Fu also went on a guided tour of the National Art Museum of China led by museum director Wu Weishan.

The art museum, one of the country's largest, has about 110,000 exhibits, most of which are either modern or contemporary artworks. It signed a memorandum of understanding with Singapore's National Gallery in April 2015.

She also met the Chinese minister in charge of General Administration of Sports, Mr Gou Zhongwen, for a dialogue session yesterday afternoon.

This was followed by an evening concert by about 85 members of the Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra at the China Conservatory of Music Affiliated High School.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 16, 2017, with the headline 'Grace Fu in China to boost cultural ties'. Print Edition | Subscribe