Foreign and Military Affairs

EU embassies see influx of Chinese youth

Updated: 2011-05-15 10:03

(China Daily)

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EU embassies see influx of Chinese youth

EU Ambassador Markus Ederer kicks off a month of open-house meetings with young people. [Photo by Jiang Dong / China Daily]

Nineteen European Union member embassies across Beijing began opening their doors in a series of open-house events last week, as the 2011 EU-China Year of Youth continues.

Ambassador Markus Ederer was the busiest host in the capital: The head of the EU Delegation kicked off the open-house events on May 6, three days before hosting a garden party for local dignitaries, business leaders and diplomats in honor of Europe Day.

The month-long Year of Youth events for young Chinese and Europeans includes lectures, visits to embassies' offices and ambassadors' residences and cultural performances.

Most of the open-house events are semi-private events for invited student groups and academics, hosted by the EU, Hungary, Romania, Spain, Germany, France, Malta, Cyprus, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic and Slovakia jointly, Austria, Greece, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Finland.

Three embassies plan larger-scale events that are open to the public. On Sunday (May 15), the embassy of Denmark will present two exhibitions, on fairy tales and bicycle culture, a week after the bike display was shown in Shanghai. Young participants will get to visit the residence of Ambassador Friis Arne Petersen and sample traditional food served up by Danish butchers (

On Monday morning, Poland's Ambassador Tadeusz Chomicki will welcome the public to performances of the Warsaw University Dance Ensemble "Warszawianka", a tour of the embassy building, Polish language lessons, quizzes, lucky draw and more (

The final event of the series on June 3, hosted by Italy's recently arrived Ambassador Attilio Massimo Iannucci, will feature two public screenings of the Italian movie Happy Family (2010) , by the famous director Gabriele Salvatores at the Italian Cultural Centre.

The EU-China Year of Youth was officially launched in January of this year in Brussels and in February in Beijing.

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The Polish Embassy website ( has launched its first newsletter for Chinese readers in Chinese, aiming to project the image of Polish as an open, dynamic, innovative country with a rich cultural heritage and an interesting offer for students and tourists from China.

The first edition features the official opening of four medical centers financed with assistance provided by the Polish government to the victims of the Sichuan earthquake, which ravaged the south western province of China in May 2008. The total value of Poland's assistance was estimated at 500,000 euros and included 160 large tents, more than 3,600 blankets, financing the restoration of four medical centers and medical treatment for children with leukemia and heart disease.

* * *

Three winners of a digital campaign on the British Embassy's site enjoyed a lunch with British Ambassador Sebastian Wood at the envoy's residence. Zhang Zhe, Wang Zhixin andJiang Tingting were chosen for their exceptional contributions to the site (on social media website, demonstrated by their blogging activity, engagement with forum discussions and creation of content. The winners and the ambassador shared thoughts on British culture, art, film and football, and the value of learning English. The discussion also covers how young Chinese people perceive the UK.

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