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FIRST OFF . . .

<i> Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press</i>

The Bolshoi Ballet will give its first performance in China in 30 years in 1989, Soviet Minister of Culture V. G. Zaharov said Thursday. China’s official Xinhua News Agency quoted Zaharov, now visiting Beijing, as saying he hoped the visit would strengthen cultural ties between China and the Soviet Union. Almost all Sino-Soviet political, economic and cultural contacts were suspended after the two Communist governments split over ideological and strategic matters in 1960. China still refuses to normalize political ties because of Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan and Soviet support for Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia. However, since the early 1980s there has been a gradual increase in trade and gradually improving cultural and academic ties. There were no details on when the visit would take place or where the Bolshoi would perform.


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