The embassy of India, in collaboration with the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art in Beijing, hosted a preview last weekend of "the most comprehensive international exhibition of contemporary art from India ever to be mounted in China" with more than 200 works by 30 prominent Indian artists. After the preview, Ambassador S. Jaishankar hosted a dinner party for his guests, including UCCA founders Guy and Myriam Ullens, prominent Chinese and expatriate artists and about a dozen fellow ambassadors. The exhibition, titled Indian Highways, has been presented in several cities around the world since 2008 and will be on view in Beijing through Aug 29.
US Ambassador to China Gary Locke recently announced the expansion of the consulate general in Wuhan to include full consular and visa services. Locke said the plan was part of the embassy's ongoing effort to meet demand for US visas and improve services for American citizens.
"We anticipate this expansion will allow us to process up to 200,000 visa applications per year in Wuhan," he said, noting the new service would both accelerate visa approvals and alleviate heavy demand for such services at existing visa offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Copenhagen Lord Mayor Frank Jensen was in Beijing June 26 to 29, signing a friendship agreement with Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong and leading a large business delegation to promote sustainable urban development in both countries. EU Ambassador to China Markus Ederer joined Jensen for one panel discussion, along with Pan Jiahua, director of the Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies at the China Academy of Social Sciences, and Li Xun, secretary general of the Chinese Society for Urban Studies. Jensen also spoke at a forum for entrepreneurs and visited a sustainable development project at Beijing Friendship Hospital. He was hosted for an official dinner by Danish Ambassador to China Friis Arne Petersen at the embassy residence.
Ten days earlier, Jensen hosted Chinese President Hu Jintao during his State visit to Denmark, and escorted him to see the famous Little Mermaid statue.
Radical Design Week, an event that is aimed at promoting Finnish design, innovations and Sino-Finnish cooperation, was launched on June 15 in Shanghai during the visit of Mayor Jukka Makela of Espoo, Finland. The 10-day celebration of design, creativity and innovation will cover 40 creative events and run from Oct 10 until Nov 4. It is the biggest satellite event to be held in conjunction with World Design Capital Helsinki 2012.
The European Union delegation to China announced that the Chinese vinegar Zhenjiang Xiang Cu has been formally registered as a Protected Geographical Indication in the EU. The vinegar joins more than 1,000 agricultural products and foodstuffs (including six other Chinese products) that have received protected status in international trade. China and the EU have been working for mutual recognition of 10 products from each side, and an EU spokesman expressed hope that the remaining three Chinese foods could be registered before the China-EU summit this fall.
UK ambassador Sebastian Wood hosted the British band Ash to perform a selection of songs for Chinese fans at his residence on June 20. Lead singer Tim Wheeler performed three songs for about 50 local music fans who were selected through a notice on the embassy's weibo account. After the performance, the band chatted with fans and held interviews with local media.
The performance was part of the embassy's "Great" Britain campaign, which aims to demonstrate the best of what Britain has to offer. The event comes at a time when Britain is showcasing its vibrant culture to Chinese audiences through the UK Now festival, bringing hundreds of public art events to 17 cities across China through November 2012.
The Serbian embassy hosted a celebration last weekend for the Serbian School in Beijing to mark the end of the school year, with a concert and recitals. Serbia's charge d'affairs, Mladen Mandic, and head teacher Natasha Radosavljevic made presentations with the 12 students at the school.
Croatian Ambassador Ante Simonic hosted Blue Symphony, a photo and video exhibition by Chinese visual artist Rita Zhao last week at the Beijing People's Associate for Friendship with Foreign Countries. The event was part of the embassy's ongoing celebration of the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Croatia and China.