Diplomatic Pouch: With Mike Peters

Updated: 2011-09-23 11:46

(China Daily European Weekly)

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The wine, says Macedonian Ambassador to China Oliver Shambevski, is very good. "We are in one of the best wine-growing regions in the world - people just don't know about it." Expanding the awareness of his country and culture was one reason the ambassador was at Beijing's Chaoyang Park early last Saturday morning. About 70 embassies and international organizations turned out for a daylong charity bazaar organized by Counselor Le Aimei, wife of China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, and many European ambassadors were on hand to personally tell their country's stories. Proceeds from the bazaar will be used to finance the reconstruction of poor mountain villages of ethnic minority groups in Yunnan province.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague spoke to members of the UK-China Leadership Forum in London as the group marked its fifth year. The forum brings together UK political parties and the Communist Party of China to discuss and debate current political issues affecting both countries. The forum meets annually, alternating between capitals in Britain and China, to discuss issues, build lasting relationships between politicians in both countries and strengthen the strategic relationship between the UK and China.

The Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research (Bioforsk) and Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences (HAAS) last week celebrated the opening of their new joint research center in Harbin, Norway's embassy in Beijing announced.

"Bioforsk and HAAS have been preparing for this for some time", says Jihong Liu Clarke, China project coordinator at Bioforsk. "The research tasks will be concentrated around potato-research, climate issues and sustainable agriculture."

"We recognize that we have common challenges", says Harald Lossius, CEO of Bioforsk. "We have established good personal relations, and we also have many common interests when it comes to research."

Danish Ambassador Friis Arne Petersen participated in the opening ceremony of Mengniu-Arla Nutrition Research Centre in Beijing.

The Nutrition Centre focuses on creating better nutrition for children and mothers and to contribute to research and development of infant formula. Vice-president of Arla, Frede Juulsen, CEO of Mengniu-Arla, Simon Tao, and president of Mengniu Dairy, Yang Wenjun, also participated in the opening ceremony.

Ambassador Petersen said at the opening that Arla is known for its social responsibility and commitment to projects. Arla Foods is a global dairy company and a co-operative owned by Danish, Swedish and German dairy farmers.

The embassy of Iceland is cooperating with local festivals to bring two exhibitions of Icelandic art and design to Beijing. As a part of the NOTCH festival, artist Gudrun Kristjansdottir is working with a local community to create a mural on an old factory wall using volcanic ash from the Eyjafjallajokull eruptions and broken Chinese glass. The festival theme is "Feedback", with the aim to recycle social resources from the residential area. The mural will be displayed from Sept 24.

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