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In this paper, a downlink multi-cell orthogonal frequency division multiplexing access (OFDMA) system using the same carrier frequency is studied. The multi-cell interference degrades the performance severely. This paper analyzes the interference mitigation performance of the simple Han-Kobayashi rate splitting scheme in a realistic modeling of the multi-cell system. A cooperative rate splitting scheme is proposed and a closed form optimal power allocation solution is derived. Then, we propose a new scheduling strategy to further improve the performance. Simulation results show that the cooperative rate splitting strategy combined the new scheduling algorithm can get a substantial capacity gain.