China-Spain Year of Culture and Tourism kicked off on March 27 in Madrid. Hu Heping, Minister of China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, led a delegation to Spain and attended the opening ceremony and concert in the evening at Spain’s National Auditorium of Music.
At the opening ceremony, Hu highlighted that both China and Spain boast a profound history and rich cultural heritage. The two countries are expected to take the China-Spain Year of Culture and Tourism as an opportunity to expand cultural and tourism exchanges and cooperation, deepen mutual learning between civilizations, and enhance friendship. Such efforts will help consolidate the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Spain, and together, they will write a new chapter of building a community with a shared future for mankind.
Elvira Rodríguez, Vice President of the Spanish Congress of Deputies, said in her speech that although Spain and China are thousands of miles apart, people in both countries have great respect for each other’s history and culture. In recent years, China has played a positive and significant role in dealing with various global risks and challenges, setting an example for the international community. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Spain and China, the two sides have jointly held a series of cultural and artistic events, which will further promote mutual understanding between the two peoples, renew friendly cooperation, and contribute to a community with a shared future for mankind.
Ángeles Moreno Bau, Spain’s State Secretary for Foreign and Global Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Spain and China, the two countries have developed strong political mutual trust, maintained close economic and trade ties and actively engaged in cultural exchanges. She expressed her hope that a series of exciting activities throughout the year could contribute to deepening friendly cooperation. As it is about to assume the presidency of the Council of the EU, Spain stands ready to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation with China in various fields to jointly promote world peace and development.
The inauguration concert was co-hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China and the Chinese Embassy in Spain. The concert featured performances by China National Traditional Orchestra, Jingju Theater Company of Beijing, the Orchestra of the Community of Madrid, and the Flamenco Band. Nearly 2,000 guests from various backgrounds enjoyed this musical feast together.
Spanish Singer Estibaliz Martyn Sings I Love You China at the Inauguration Concert
The concert opened with a lively and cheerful Spring Festival Overture. The newly created song The Sun Always Shines on Our Friendship, performed by the orchestras of both countries, seamlessly blended Chinese and Western musical elements, bringing the audience a refreshing experience. The Peking opera, The Drunken Concubine, showcased the unique charm of Chinese traditional opera culture to the Spanish audience. The Spanish singer sang I Love You China in both Chinese and Spanish, conveying the friendship between the peoples of the two countries through her beautiful voice. Spanish Bullfighter March performed with the sheng (a traditional Chinese instrument) and accompanied by the Spanish national dance Flamenco drew enthusiastic applause from the audience. The artists from both countries communicated through music and art, showcasing the fusion of Eastern and Western cultures through the collision and integration of Chinese and Spanish musical elements.
Chinese Artist Zhang Xinyue Performs The Drunken Concubine at the Inauguration Concert
(Reporter: Meng Dingbo, Xie Yuzhi)