-Chinese Ambassador Fu
The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China near Monrovia in collaboration with the Confucius Institute at the University of Liberia (UL) on Saturday, November 10, hosted the traditional Chinese Arts performance, with some of the main performers coming from the Hunan University of Chinese Medicine in China.
The event, which was hosted at the Monrovia City Hall, was intended to strengthen China-Liberia relationship, highlighting culture exchanges between the two countries. Some of the performances comprised a series of China’s traditional sport-oriented health maintenance practices, including Martial Arts, Tai Chi, Qigong (a popular Chinese song) about unity, and some Chinese folk dances.
It brought together visiting students from the Hunan University of Chinese Medicine, foreign guests, government officials and students from the Confucius Institute. The Art tour is an international program launched by the headquarters of China’s Confucius Institute and undertaken by the artistic troupes of Chinese Universities.
Chinese Ambassador Fu Jijun, who spoke at the occasion, underscored the importance of the event. He said it helps foreign students to appreciate the colorful Chinese culture, which enhances mutual understanding between people, promoting friendship and people to people bond between China and foreign countries.
According to the Amb. Fu, both China and Africa, including Liberia, are proud of his country’s splendid cultural performance.
“With more people to people exchanges in culture, arts, education, sports and media, we can further strengthen the bond between the people of China and Africa, and Liberia is of no exception,” he said.
According to Amb. Fu, it was based on such cultural exchanges that President George Weah launched the “People to People exchange Initiative” at the FOCAC Beijing Summit held last September.
During the next three years, according to the initiative, 50 joint Africa and China cultural sports and tourism events will be organized in Beijing.
“China welcomes Africa’s participation in the Silk Road International League of Theaters, the Silk Road International Museum Alliance and the Network of Silk Road Arts Festivals,” the Envoy said.
He said a China-Africa media cooperation network will be established to allow more African culture centers to open in China and more Chinese culture centers will do likewise in Africa.
Amb. Fu used the occasion to welcome qualified African education institutions to host the Confucius Institutes just like it is at the University of Liberia.
“I am confident that with the implementation of the initiative, there will be more bilateral exchange visits of cultural arts, education, sports, and media groups between China and Liberia. Therefore, I have the honor to welcome Liberian friends to actively join the initiative,” he declared.
Saturday’s event marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Confucius Institute at the University of Liberia. In the past decades, the Confucius Institute has played a significant role in carrying on the Chinese language teaching and spreading the Chinese culture in Liberia.
Geegbae A. Geegbae, vice president for Institutional Planning and Development at the University of Liberia, lauded the Chinese Government for giving Liberian students the opportunity to learn the Chinese language.
Geegbae said as China remains one of Liberia’s greatest development partners, it is important to take advantage of the Confucius Institute, in order to become marketable upon graduation, because there are some Chinese companies operating in the country and need Liberians who speak the Chinese language fluently.
“So, if our children can learn the Chinese language, I strongly believe that they will be able to regularly interact with their Chinese counterparts,” he said.