On 19 April 2017, an exhibition titled “Beautiful China, Picturesque Zhejiang” was opened at the Salle des Pas Perdus of the Palais des Nations. It was sponsored by the Permanent Mission of China and the United Nations Office at Geneva and organized by Zhejiang Provincial Tourism Bureau.
The opening ceremony was attended by Mr. Ma Zhaoxu, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland, Mr. Zhang Xiangchen, Permanent Representative of China to the World Trade Organization, Mr. Francesco Pisano, Chairperson of the UNOG Cultural Activities Committee, Mr. Xu Peng, Deputy Director-General of Zhejiang Provincial Tourism Bureau, and about 500 guests, including diplomatic envoys of permanent missions, senior officials and staff members of international organizations, people interested in the Chinese culture, and the local Chinese community.
In his remarks, Ambassador Ma noted that Zhejiang, long famous for its cultural heritage, is a bright pearl on the crown of the Chinese culture. Last year, the Chinese government hosted the G20 summit in Zhejiang. For this exhibition, it is chosen as a fine example for the audience at the Palais des Nations to sample the colorful Chinese culture. Chinese President Xi Jinping said in his speech delivered at the Palais des Nation in January this year that diversity of human civilizations not only defines our world, but also drives progress of mankind. We hope this exhibition will help us build greater mutual understanding and stronger friendship, and add new impetus to the exchange and mutual learning between civilizations, world peace and development, and the building of a community of shared future for mankind.
The remarks of Mr. Michael Møller, Director-General of the UNOG, was delivered by Mr. Pisano. Mr. Møller said that Chinese, one of the six official languages of the UN, is quite an impressive language. There are over 100,000 Chinese characters and the number continues to grow as new characters are constantly added. Chinese language and culture are very much alive in International Geneva. This exhibition is the chance to admire distinct works of art and a live demonstration of Chinese culture. He expressed appreciation to the Permanent Mission of China for continuously enriching the UNOG’s cultural programme and its contribution to linguistic and cultural diversity.
The guests marveled at the live demonstration of calligraphy writing, the making of ink brushes, the tea ceremony, wood carving, and fan painting. Many took up the ink brushes themselves and tried to write on a paper scroll to get a feel for the beauty of Chinese calligraphy. Members of the diplomatic corps present at the exhibition praised the event for its special theme, diversified means of exhibition, and professionalism. Many found it one of the best exhibitions ever held at the Palais des Nations and believed it is of great help for the international community to gain a better understanding of China.