|China Night Lights Up 2018 Arctic Circle Assembly|
From October 19 to 21, more than 2000 people attended 2018 Arctic Circle Assembly in Harpa of Reykjavik, Iceland. Different from the previous years, this year the assembly added a lot of Chinese elements. In addition to "China and the Future of the Arctic - Belt and Road" in plenary session and other topics involving China in breakout sessions, the "China Night" event organized by the Chinese Embassy in Iceland on the evening of the 20th marked another highlight of the assembly. At 19:30, the door opened to the long waiting guests, and the huge flow of people streamed in and were excited to find out they were in a total different world as if they were traveling to China. The traditional Chinese lanterns with a flavor of modern technology from Zigong of Sichuan lighted up the whole room, reflecting vibrant colors against the background of China Red. The Chairman of the Arctic Circle and Former President of Iceland Mr. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson and his wife, Minister Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson for the Environment and Natural Resources of Iceland, Deputy Speaker Bryndís Haraldsdóttir of Althingi, Chinese Ambassador Jin Zhijian, Executive Vice Chairman Huang Xinchu of Sichuan Provincial People's Congress of China, Special Representative for Arctic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China Mr. Gao Feng and nearly 1000 guests from governments, scientific institutions and enterprises from many countries attended the event.
Ambassador Jin warmly welcomed all the guests presented at China Night. He stressed that as a participant, builder and contributor in Arctic affairs , China always acted in the fundamental principles of respect, cooperation, win-win result and sustainability, striving for peace and development in the Arctic with Chinese wisdom and contribution. Arctic cooperation has been an important part of China-Iceland relations. China and Iceland signed the Framework Agreement on Arctic Cooperation in 2012, and China-Iceland Arctic Science Observatory was launched in Karholl in Iceland several days ago. China was willing to work together with the international community to jointly build a Polar Silk Road, with which we would share the mutual responsibilities and benefits of peaceful development of the Arctic, and contribute to its sustainable development.
Chairman Grimsson expressed his appreciation to China for this colorful event during the Arctic Circle Assembly. He highly appraised China for its participation in the Arctic affairs in a friendly way, and wished that China could continue to contribute to the development of the Arctic. He emphasized that China Night has presented the tradition and culture of a country with 5000 years history, which made the assembly not only a platform for exchanges of views, but also a happy gathering of the Arctic family.
Vice Chairman Huang introduced Sichuan's important role in Belt and Road, and would like to strengthen cooperation with all parties in environment protection, science and education, as well as tourism to achieve a win-win result.
The performing group of Chengdu University of Sichuan presented a marvelous show for the audience. The face changing performance of traditional Sichuan local opera has been a great hit and every change of the facial mask triggered huge applauds. The dance Butterfly Lovers and Tai Ji Sword-play have shown enchanting traditional Chinese culture. Ethnic minority dances have won the whole audience with their beautiful choreographer, cheerful stringed music and colorful costumes. The guests enjoyed themselves with the typical Chinese food, and made photos with the Lanterns of the Temple of Heaven and giant pandas.
The one hour and a half event ended, a time too short for many guests as they just started their exploration of Chinese culture, food and people. They expressed their heartfelt thanks to the wonderful night, which not only provided a chance to better understand China's policy in the Arctic affairs, but also aroused their interest and yearning for Chinese culture.