The People’s Republic of China celebrated its Expo 2020 National Day (10 January), with His Excellency Ni Jian, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the UAE, highlighting the mutual trust and trade and economic cooperation provided under the Belt and Road Initiative.
Speaking at Al Wasl Plaza, HE Ni Jian celebrated the relationship as “deep” and “fruitful”, and also outlined the two nations’ intentions to enrich the strategic partnership between China and the UAE.
The morning programme also included a broad cross-section of Chinese culture, including a creative adaptation of a traditional Peking opera, featuring traditional costumes, followed by a violin and piano performance of the Harvest Song of the Fisherman. The cultural programme closed with an operatic performance by Wang Weilian, singing the harmonious My Motherland and Me.
HE Ni Jian was welcomed by Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai, and His Excellency Sultan Al Shamsi, UAE Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for International Development Affairs.
HE Al Shamsi said: “China’s pavilion, an iconic lantern-shaped structure named “Light of China”, carries a message of hope, and takes visitors at Expo 2020 Dubai on a tour of China’s profound culture and modern advancements.
“The UAE and China share a steadfast relationship, based on notions of friendship and respect, which has gone from strength to strength over the years, with collaboration expanding across various sectors of mutual interest, particularly China's Belt and Road Initiative, in which the UAE has been a key and supportive partner.
“We are confident that, through China’s strong participation and engagement at Expo 2020, the relations between our two nations will witness the beginning of an even richer chapter in their history.”
HE Ni Jian said: “The ancient Silk Road 2,000 years ago brought our two peoples close together, a spirit that the UAE and China seek to revive in the modern era. In recent years, under the close stewardship of our respective leaderships, China and the UAE have experienced deepened political mutual trust, fruitful trade and economic cooperation, and thriving people-to-people exchanges.
“China is ready to join hands with the UAE to further enhance political trust and practical cooperation in a variety of areas under the Belt and Road Initiative, enriching our comprehensive strategic partnership and delivering greater benefits to our two peoples. China and the UAE enjoy broad prospects for win-win cooperation underpinned by the stronger compatibility that this deeper cooperation provides.”
The UAE is a vital financial, trade and logistics hub valued by China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), an infrastructure development and investment program that seeks to connect Asia with Africa and Europe through land and maritime networks, increasing trade and stimulating economic growth. Enhanced cooperation under the BRI initiative has underpinned a target of USD 200 billion of bilateral trade between the UAE and China by 2030.
On 27-28 October 2021, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which complements China’s BRI, held its sixth Annual Meeting in Dubai, in parallel with Expo 2020 Dubai – the first time such a meeting has been held in the Middle East.
Celebrations will continue throughout Monday evening, with a Gala Performance on the Jubilee Stage at 2000 GST that will include Chinese drums, folk music and opera, as well as performances featuring violin, piano, tenors and a children’s chorus.
Al Wasl dome will host a Qipao Show, featuring the exquisite traditional Qipao dresses, inspired by the four seasons and showcasing traditional culture and Chinese national costumes, while the China Pavilion – one of Expo’s largest Country Pavilions – will stage a new version of its popular light and drone show.
Offering an illuminating historical tour of Chinese innovation, the pavilion includes thousands of years’ worth of culture and technology, including defining technologies throughout history, such as the compass and gunpowder, to the nation’s modern-day advancements in artificial intelligence and 5G wireless infrastructure.
China’s Expo 2020 National Day took place on the cusp of Chinese New Year, which this year falls on 1 February. The holiday is usually characterised by fireworks, the colour red, parades, banquets and brightly lit lanterns at night.
National and Honour Days at Expo 2020 Dubai are moments to celebrate each of Expo’s 200-plus International Participants, shining a light on their culture and achievements and showcasing their pavilions and programming.
Running until 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 invites visitors from across the planet to join the making of a new world in a six-month celebration of human creativity, innovation, progress and culture.
Text, photos and video: Expo Dubai 2020