Chinese New Year e-Celebration 2021
Year of the Ox
On 8 February 2021, the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, the China-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (CHINALUX), the Confucius Institute at the University of Luxembourg and the China Cultural Center in Luxembourg, with support from Euro-Asie, hosted an online event to celebrate the Chinese New Year and welcome the Year of the Ox. Moderated by CHINALUX Vice-President Jacques Bortuzzo, the event served as a way to bring China and Luxembourg together by connecting digitally. About 170 people participated via Zoom and enjoyed a one and a half hour cultural and musical feast.
In a video greeting, Mr Franz Fayot, Minister of the Economy of Luxembourg, expressed his best wishes and hopes for the upcoming year of the Ox. He took the opportunity to express his gratitude for the mutual cooperation between China and Luxembourg during the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The logistics corridor between China and Luxembourg, the so-called ‘Silk Road in the Air’, had been essential to deliver vital medical equipment to China at the beginning of the outbreak, and conversely to Luxembourg and Europe thereafter. Mr Fayot expressed hopes that 2021 will see a strengthening of bilateral relations in multiple fields. The Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce e-mission to China in November 2020 had illustrated that, despite restricted mobility, the China-Luxembourg relationship can continue to move forward.
H.E. Mrs Yang Xiaorong, the Chinese Ambassador to Luxembourg, stressed the extraordinary challenges of the past year which had been characterised by global crisis and recession. Despite these challenges, China’s success in combating the virus outbreak domestically and the quick economic recovery of the Chinese economy are testament to the potential in overcoming the crisis. She particularly emphasised China’s international cooperation in the fight against the pandemic and the role of Luxembourg as part of the ‘Health Silk Road’. Finally, H.E. Mrs Yang expressed her best wishes for a prosperous and successful year of the Ox.
As President of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, Mr Luc Frieden highlighted the mutual cooperation of China and Luxembourg during the pandemic once more, mentioning the role of Cargolux in particular. He expressed his hope that Luxembourg’s central role as a logistics and financial hub will further deepen bilateral ties. In regards to the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, which had been reached in December 2020, Mr Frieden stated his conviction that it will serve as the foundation of a fair and balanced trade relationship between China and Luxembourg in the future.
From the Confucius Institute at the University of Luxembourg, Prof. Dr Stéphane Pallage, the rector of the University of Luxembourg, expressed his best wishes for a Happy New Year on behalf of the Confucius Institute Luxembourg and mentioned that, despite the pandemic, cooperation has continued throughout 2020. He mentioned in particular the opening of the Confucius Institute Library at the Luxembourg Learning Center in Belval, which constitutes the largest collection of Chinese texts in Luxembourg. As the Director of the Confucius Institute, Mr Jauffrey Bareille acknowledged the special situation of this year’s celebration, but showed confidence that digital classes and events will be a step forward. Acting Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute, Ms Jiang Chenchen, spoke of the rapid development of China-Luxembourg educational ties since the first student exchange agreement between the University of Luxembourg and Fudan University was signed in 2015 and the establishment of the Confucius Institute in 2018. The speeches and greetings were followed by a video featuring the Confucius Institute Luxembourg’s teachers and students at Chinese New Year.
Mr Zhang Jing of the China Cultural Center in Luxembourg (CCCL) also wished everyone a Happy New Year and pointed to the rich online cultural content available on the CCCL website. Together with Mr William Zhang, CEO of Huawei Luxembourg, he presented the finalists of the 2020 photography contest ‘My Story in China’ from CCCL, CHINALUX and Euro-Asie, which was sponsored by Huawei Luxembourg. The presentation was followed by a video of an acrobatics performance.
The next feature was organised by Mr Zhang Yong of Euro-Asie and included, among other things, greetings from Mr Lex Delles, Minister of Tourism of Luxembourg, a performance of the Chinese folk song ‘Mo Li Hua’ by Mr Gast Waltzing, and the performance of a traditional Luxembourgish song by Euro-Asie clients in both Chinese and Luxembourgish.
The closing address of the event was held by Ms Xie Zhujun, President of CHINALUX. Citing the latest Eurostat data, which shows the EU has become China’s largest trading partner in 2020, and in regard to the EU-China Investment Agreement, Ms Xie expressed confidence that working together will be the path forward.
Finally, the Chinese New Year e-celebration came to end with a video greeting from Mr Vincent Hieff, Consul General of Luxembourg in Shanghai and Executive Director at LTIO in Shanghai, and team, as well as surprise wishes from many friends and students, followed by an encore show organised by the CCCL with a fusion of modern dance and Chinese traditional operas.