Beijing-style spring

Minsk hosting Merry Spring Holiday-2016 Brings Joy to BelarusFestival
In 2016, the spring holiday, or the Chinese New Year as it’s often called, began on February 8th. As usual, the festivities lasted for around a fortnight. The Chinese Embassy to Minsk was almost empty, with many diplomats travelling to see relatives. However, on their return, they decided that it would be great to share their holiday with the whole country.

At the opening of the gala-concert Merry Spring Holiday Brings Joy to Belarus

The festival included concerts at the Philharmonic and exhibitions of Chinese art. At the press conference launching the event, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to Belarus, Cui Qiming, spoke of Belarusian-Chinese relations, calling them ‘very promising’. He reminded that, in May 2015, the Chairman of the People’s Republic of Belarus, Xi Jinping, had arrived in Belarus on a state visit: an historic event for China. A reciprocal visit then occurred when, in September 2015, Alexander Lukashenko visited Beijing to take part in solemn events marking the 70th anniversary of the Chinese People’s Victory in the War of Resistance, and marking the end of WWII.

“Our relations have entered the best period in the whole history of our bilateral ties,” underlined the Chinese Ambassador. “Our relations of comprehensive strategic partnership have reached a new level. Pragmatic collaboration in various spheres is developing, bringing ever greater results. China and Belarus have considerably intensified their political interaction.”

According to the diplomat, the recent successful launch of the Belintersat-1 satellite from the Chinese launch site is an important step in developing Belarusian-Chinese co-operation. Meanwhile a protocol on an inter-governmental Belarusian-Chinese agreement has been signed, to promote visa-free group tourism in both directions.

Cui Qiming

Mr. Qiming also mentioned the success of the Chinese economy. Despite many economic experts noting slowing of growth, GDP still stands at an enviable 6.9 percent and China accounts for almost 25 percent of global GDP. China is currently focusing on services and its domestic market, rather than on exports and investments, which is likely to have influenced the slowdown.

“Although the Chinese economy is facing challenges, the Government and the nation is confident that development can be maintained via economic structural regulation,” explains Mr. Qiming.

Culture Minister Boris Svetlov believes that the Chinese Spring Holiday is a wonderful way of showing how cultural ties are developing between our two countries.

“Last year, during the visit by PRC Chairman Xi Jinping, to Belarus, we signed an agreement to create two cultural centres — in Minsk and Beijing. These will soon open and will be the first of many events organised in Belarus and China,” he emphasises.

Our countries have already managed to exchange days of culture and we’ve enjoyed several reciprocal tours of cultural groups. Last year, the State Dance Ensemble of Belarus performed in the Heavenly Empire while Minskers were able to applaud the Nanjing Song and Dance Ensemble.

By Alexander Benkovsky
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