Updated: 2011-08-19 10:51

(China Daily European Weekly)

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Diplomatic pouch >> With Mike Peters

Twenty future journalists are touring Finland this month as guests of that nation's foreign ministry and its Foreign Correspondents' Program (FCP). Among them is Charles Li, a master's candidate from the School of Journalism and Communication at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

"The media training course aims to broaden the participants' interest in Finland, to foster a positive attitude towards Finland and a deeper understanding of the country, and to sharpen Finland's profile," says Mikko Puustinen, the new press counsellor of the embassy in China. "In the longer term the program can be seen as an investment in future media relations and an integral part of the ministry's efforts in the field of public diplomacy. The students visited Turku, one of Europe's two culture capitals for 2011, where they visited the city's main library, the newsroom of the local newspaper Turun Sanomat. They were hosted at a city hall reception together with journalists covering the 2011 Kalevan Kisat athletics event in Turku. The young journalists also visited Naantali for a guided walk through the old town, a visit to Moomin World and a meeting with Finnish President Tarja Kaarina Halonen at Kultaranta, the president's summer residence.

Puustinen says the participants will gain a broad perspective on Finnish society, politics, history and economy, with special emphasis this year on Nordic cooperation, cleantech and design. Li and other students will report their experiences and impressions of Finland:

The British Consulate-General in Guangzhou, Alastair Morgan, hosted a welcome reception last week for the athletes and staff comprising the UK's largest Universiade delegation ever. For the 2011 World University Games in Shenzhen, the British team consists of 220 athletes and support staff competing in 16 sports. The athletes come from 44 of Britain's universities and from every region of the UK, the British embassy in Beijing reports.

"For some athletes, the Universiade can be a stepping stone to the Olympics," Morgan said. "For all athletes, participation in the Universiade is significant achievement." Great Britain has a number of Olympic hopefuls among the competitors in Shenzhen. Women's water polo, swimming, track and field, women's basketball, taekwondo, fencing and football are among disciplines in which UK athletes are hoping to shine.

The sculpture Red Memory-Shy Boy, by well-known Chinese artist Chen Wenling, has been chosen by the Danish city of Aarhus as the winner of the international exhibition Sculpture by the Sea. The sculpture will soon be placed in a public area in the city.

Officials at the exhibition, which was inaugurated by Crown Prince Frederik and his wife Crown Princess Mary, chose the sculpture because it was the audience favorite. Almost 3,000 citizens participated in the vote, and more than half a million people came to visit the exhibition during the three weeks it lasted. Chen's work is a series of boys portrayed in scarlet that have won international recognition.

The European Union Delegation to China and Mongolia will hold an information session Sept 6 in advance of receiving proposals for a capacity-building project for China's civil aviation sector. The focus will include aircraft maintenance and airworthiness training, pilot training and air traffic management.

Embassy news can be sent to

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