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China's South to South cooperation soars

Editor: Qian Ding 丨CCTV.com

04-03-2018 14:57 BJT

By Vicki Cann, PhD student at China Communication University

A charity auction was held on Friday, March 23, where the items being auctioned included original Chinese paintings, calligraphy, pottery, jewelry, and a plethora of other products, including a framed print of an original Jamaican painting, courtesy of the Jamaican Embassy, that depicts a Jamaican scene from the late 1800s. The proceeds from the auction are intended for a variety of charities nationwide. The funds raised from the painting donated by the Embassy will be used for a worthy cause that promotes the country’s bilateral ties with the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

(Antonia Hugh, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the PRC, shakes hands with Yang Yuchu, Chairman of Beijing One Good Land Auction Co. Ltd during the charity auction on March 23.   Photos by Vicki Cann)

While the event was organized by the Beijing One Good Land trading Company Ltd., the occasion illustrates the notion of south-south cooperation, popularized by the Chinese government, now taking place at the private level. Chinese companies can engage other countries with the goal to promote Chinese culture including calligraphy, artwork, pottery, jewelry making, as well as aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Several ambassadors and diplomats were in attendance, including Jamaica's Ambassador to the PRC, Antonia Hugh; Ambassador Tappsalaia Terry Toomata of Samoa; Ambassador Fariz N. Mendawai of Palestine; Ambassador Mohamed Faisal of the Maldives, as well as the spouse of the Slovak Republic’s Ambassador to China, Dr. Eugenia Bellova.

(Group photo of participants to the auction   Photos by Vicki Cann)

Prior to the auction, the participating dignitaries gave a brief speech commending China for its sincere efforts to enhance diplomatic relations with their countries through cultural and people-to-people exchanges. The Jamaican Ambassador to China, Antonia Hugh spoke of the potential for more cooperation between his country and China in the field of ethno-medicine.

"In the areas of TCM healthcare there is an excellent opportunity for cooperation and exchanges if we take into account the practice of ethno-medicine in Jamaica – a system influenced by colonial European, indigenous Indians and African beliefs and concepts with ethno-medicinal drugs sources that include the Chinese. When we mention teas, the natural tendency is to think Chinese teas but the use of local plants as remedies is prevalent in Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean", said Ambassador Hugh.

Other participants reiterated similar sentiments sharing their respective indigenous plants and medicines while noting the possibility of more exchanges at the medical level. This is due to the inclusive nature of China's Belt and Road Initiative that goes beyond the ancient silk route and spreads across Europe, Africa and has been extended to the Caribbean and Latin America. Ambassador Hugh spoke highly of China's visionary approach of uniting the globe through its increased cultural engagements.

"Culture is a critical component of the Belt and Road Initiative which is set to redefine and transform the region and global, political and economic landscapes. An understanding of the Chinese cultural market, for example, should directly influence the quality of the goods and services you provide for sale in the market. I would say that culture is therefore a valuable pillar of China’s strategic globalization plan", said the ambassador. 

Jamaica's 150-year relationship with China, through the arrival of the first Chinese to the island 150 years ago further contributes to Jamaica's enthusiasm towards China's Belt and Road Initiative.

"We welcome … the Belt and Road Initiative (B&R), which ignores the physical distance between us and focuses on our long history of friendship by building bridges. Bridges, which will take our partnership to new heights in the spirit of the Silk Road by boosting people-to-people and cultural ties, and connecting markets across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas."

Yang Yuchu, chairman of Beijing One Good Land trading company, thanked dignitaries for their willingness to learn more about his company and the charities he supports. He hopes to cooperate with other countries that engage in more cultural exchanges especially those that involve Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The Chinese government has paved the way for both state-owned and privately-owned companies to engage with different countries worldwide, which signifies the success of China's opening up policy, as 2018 marks the 40th Anniversary of this successful policy to engage with the outside world.

(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com)

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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